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Your Business Mindset

Call Allan Smith on 07789 077571 or email allan@yourbusinessmindset.com

Overcoming a specific performance issue

Often, individuals excel in most aspects of their role but struggle with a single area that hampers their overall performance. In such cases, a full coaching programme isn’t necessary – a targeted intervention can work wonders.

Appreciating Everyone’s Contribution

One assignment that stands out involves Matt, a director at a software company in Ireland. Matt was highly focused on excelling in his role and was remarkably open to feedback. He reached out to me because he wanted to improve how he chaired meetings with his direct reports. There were no specific issues he could identify; he just felt there was room for improvement.

This was possibly the shortest briefing I’ve ever had.

I flew to Dublin to observe one of his team meetings. Matt was doing many things right—clear objectives, appropriate time allocation, and ensuring everyone understood what had been agreed upon. All very positive, except for one glaring issue.

During our feedback session, I pointed out that he consistently ignored suggestions from the female team member, only to accept them when repeated by another team member. Matt was shocked. He had no idea he was doing this and was genuinely surprised by his behavior. We discussed it at length, and he was determined not to let it happen again. A month later, he confirmed he had overcome this blind spot.

Focused coaching sessions can uncover unconscious behaviors, raise awareness, and resolve the underlying issues, leading to significant performance improvements.

Distorting the Message

Another example involves Pete, a salesperson for an innovative software product. Despite the market need and steady sales, Pete was extremely stressed and unhappy in his job. After obtaining sign-off for three coaching sessions, we identified his relationship with his manager as the primary stressor.

I attended a progress meeting between Pete and his manager to observe their interaction. It became clear that Pete wasn’t answering his manager’s questions, leading to frustration and aggression from his manager and defensiveness from Pete. The meeting ended with both feeling it was a waste of time.

During our feedback session, we discovered that Pete often misinterpreted his manager’s questions. For example, when his manager asked, “Have you done this piece of work yet?” Pete heard, “Why haven’t you done this yet?” and went into defence mode. This miscommunication was rooted in Pete’s internal dialogue, where he constantly feared he wasn’t up to the job and would soon be fired. However, his sales figures were fine, and his manager had no such concerns.

With additional coaching sessions, we developed a clear plan outlining what was expected of Pete and tackled the source of his insecurity. This significantly improved his relationship with his manager and reduced his stress levels.

The Real Lesson Here

When communication breaks down or specific performance issues arise, targeted coaching can quickly and effectively resolve these problems. What amazes me is the amount of time and energy people will use up before seeking help.

Next Steps: Unlocking Individual Potential

At Your Business Mindset, we focus on uncovering performance barriers and helping individuals develop their own solutions. This approach ensures that people take ownership and drive their performance.

Want to learn more about how we can help your business? Call or email me to discover our approach and see how your business can benefit from our expertise and experience.

#businesscoaching #mindset #employeeengagement