Many years ago, I worked for a manager named George. George was a perfectionist. I would write a report and George would write all over it with a red pen. He'd circle a paragraph and write insert A, and then on the back of the page in tiny chicken scratch writing would be A and a whole new paragraph. He'd circle a word and write AWK for awkward and WC for word choice. He'd circle a line and point with arrows where he'd like it moved to. Back and forth, we'd go draft after draft until the report was late to the client even when we overnight it. At one point, George said, "Wow, you are working long and hard, we need to get you an assistant." As soon as that assisted came on board, what do you think I did? That's right. I got a red pen insert A, AWK, WC, move this here, change this there, insert B, back and forth until it was just right except on time because I might hover near perfectionist but not so far is to be late. Over time, I noticed my assistant's work was not getting any better, in fact, it seemed to be getting worse. What is going on? Haven't I done a ton of work to teach her how to write? No. The only thing she learned from my criticism is that I'm critical. Why should she do her best work when she knows I'm just going to change at all anyway, better to give me a first draft and let me fix it the way I want. My next job was for someone named Prita. Early on in my tenure, a vendor called to tell me that a shipment of calculators we had purchased as a gift for customers had been lost at sea. Yes, this was before smartphones. I ran into Prita's office and asked in a panic, "What should we do." "What do you think we should do," she asked. "Me? What do I think?" No one had ever asked me to think. "Well we could send a postcard to the customers letting them know the gift will be late." "That's a good idea," she said. "What else could we do." "I can check if the warehouse has anything we could send out in the meantime." "Great," she replied. She then explained what she would do and why, and asked me to implement the plan. The next time I went into Prita's office with a problem I said, "We have this challenge, here are three ideas I have for fixing it." She replied, "Good ideas, which do you think we should do? " I selected one and explained why. She said, "I think that makes sense, and how might you implement that?" I had a few ideas for how to implement it. She explained how she would do it and sent me off to implement the plan. From then on whenever there was a challenge she could walk by my desk and I could say, oh, Prita, we had this challenge and here's what I did about it. Eventually, Prita went to graduate school at night and did her homework during the day while I did both of our jobs. When she quits for the career of her dreams, I get promoted to her position. Hopefully your goal is not to train your employees to do your job, so you don't have to do it, yet you should have the goal of teaching your employees to figure things out for themselves. Prita builds my capabilities by coaching me every time she got the chance. As mentioned in the course intro, you have been successful because you worked diligently and well on things that matter. When you manage other people, you succeed when they work hard on things that matter, you can pay people to use their hands to get a job done, but you cannot stand over a knowledge or creative worker with a clipboard and a stopwatch to get them to give you their heart and their mind. As Dennis Kinlaw writes in the book, Coaching for Commitment, a knowledge worker could be doing a whole lot less than you think they are doing. Your direct reports could even do the minimum necessary to meet their job requirements, and you might meet your commitments with that, but you will not fully succeed if members of your team are not working to their potential, you will not have time to take advantage of new opportunities or to change work processes that cost time and effort, you will not be able to set yourself and your work group up for future success because you won't be able to count on your employees to do their work as well as you could. On the other hand, your direct reports could be doing a whole lot more than you think they're doing. Again, you cannot oversee knowledge of creative work directly. If your employees receive little feedback or appreciation from you, they may not realize that what they do matters. Eventually they may become disinterested, or worse, resentful. This is one way we lose our best people. As the manager, you create the conditions that facilitate your team's access to every member's potential. You can lead a high-performing work team by coaching your employees individually and as a group so that each member takes responsibility for the team's work process as well as its out. Coaching is a management method that builds competency and commitment. I'm not talking about coaching like you get on a sports team. There are some similarities, sports coaches select the right players and positions them to take advantage of their strengths, they watch for weaknesses, they teach players how to improve, and it worked. The manager also looks out for optimizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses. The definition of coaching as I'm using it here is Kinlaw's. It is a mutual conversation that follows a predictable process and leads to superior performance, commitment to sustained performance , and positive relationships. That might mean one conversation or many. They can be 30-second in the hallway conversations or two hours in a sit down meeting. If you're expecting that as the boss or the supervisor, you will be able to coach everyone all the time, you are expecting too much. The boss is not in every team meeting, we don't see what everyone else is doing on a regular basis, and often we have numerous other obligations and concerns. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to teach our employees to coach each other. Every member of the team can act as a coach for every other member of the team. In meetings, different individuals can take responsibility to ensure the group doesn't get sidetracked from its agenda. When new members join, other members can ensure they get up to speed quickly, and when problems arise, a member can ensure the process of resolving them works. Coaching your employees and teaching them to coach each other is an investment in time, but it is one that will save you considerable time in the future, freeing you up to seek out new opportunities and improves the quality of your work. In this module, you'll learn to coach your direct reports and peers to ensure clarity and work expectations, to support their internal motivation and correct performance short thoughts. You'll learn to use well-regarded management theories combined with my own experience as a manager, professor, and executive coach to help your employees and teams reach and further their potential. Everyone reporting to you has skills, abilities, expertise, and knowledge. We want to have all of that working toward our teams, departments, and organizations goals, and values. In the next video, I'm going to describe the characteristics of coaching conversations that are successful, explain the skills needed for coaching to work, and then we will learn a very specific process to follow, so that you can coach successfully.