Effective Leadership involves Feedback. If you intend to influence adult behavior and improve performance, you must master the skill of giving Feedback. One attribute of Achievement-Oriented employees is that they WANT feedback. They want to know how they’re doing, so they can improve. That’s your job as their leader: Tell your achievers how they can improve.
For more, here is a section from Dan’s new book: ORBT-The Six Steps to Influence. You’ll see it for sale in early 2017.
Now it is your turn. You identify the specific behaviors that must change in order for the trainee to improve. For you to be effective at this, you have to know those skills. Even if you are an expert at performing this skill yourself, you will still have to be able to identify these skills from a distance, as a coach.
It is very difficult to see someone perform a task and offer advice that improves the performance. Have you ever played golf with someone who wanted to give you (unsolicited) advice as you were playing? Have you ever tried to incorporate their advice into your game, while playing? This usually spells disaster.
Shaquille O’Neal was one of the greatest players to ever play in the National Basketball Association. He won three consecutive NBA titles with the LA Lakers. Unusually big and tall, he was virtually unstoppable on the court. Unless he was shooting free throws. Shaq was one of the worst free throw shooters in history, shooting a paltry 53%. If you are a fan of the game you also can remember that his poor statistics were validated by his incredibly poor shooting technique. Watching him shoot a free throw was painful for those of us on the sidelines.
It was easy to see he was uncomfortable and under stress. His free throw struggles were so widely documented that opposing teams were known to adopt a strategy called “Hack-a-Shaq”—designed to put Shaq on the foul line at crucial moments during the game, knowing he would miss.
Because of his obvious poor performance and low percentage results, numerous coaches and specialists turned their attention to help him improve. Each one could see that something wasn’t right. He held the ball badly. He stood awkwardly. He had no arch on the ball when he shot. Still, no coach was able to clearly identify and articulate an approach that was able to improve this aspect of his game.
In order for you to be effective in teaching the skills you want to teach, you have to be prepared. You must study behaviors. You must read, observe, validate, listen and even try things for yourself to build a repertoire of coaching insights that help your students improve. The best sports coaches are doing this year round. In fact, learning their sport, the strategies, tactics and techniques that win becomes an obsession to those that are the most committed.
Success at this level is not random. Improving another person’s performance isn’t accidental. It happens only when the coach is prepared, knowledgeable, informed and focused. You must be perceptive; listening, observing and gathering all the information you can in order to identify WHAT will bring about improvement. Without this obsessive commitment to self-development and research, you are no different than the casual golfer giving out free advice to his playing partners.