What gets in the way…

…becomes the way.

– Brene Brown

“I’ll wait to address his communication at his annual review.”

“When’s that?” I ask.

“Not for another few months” he responds.

Long silent pause.

“Carolyn, I just have too many fires burning right now. I need him to focus on his work and I don’t want this to become a thing that can detract him from executing.” And so Brene Brown’s wise words start ringing in my ears: “What gets in the way, becomes the way.”

The most common reason people avoid these difficult conversations is a fear of making the situation worse. And so addressing these professional development opportunities gets kicked down the road until a “better” time….AKA, never.

Organizations that time block for regular employee “check-ins” create a culture of ongoing learning, trust, and accountability. When we create cultures of vulnerability, trust, accountability and commitment, we get traction. We get results because in real-time we are addressing what is getting in the way.

The following are a set of recommendations to consider if you are looking to strengthen your employee check-ins.

  • Design your alliance; define what the purpose of the check-ins is meant to be, the logistics and expectations, key considerations for communication styles.
  • Agree on a topic/discussion theme ahead of time.
  • Ask open-ended powerful questions.
  • Listen at a “level 3” with all your senses; listen to hear, not to respond.
  • Define and document action steps with deadlines for completion. Explore what will happen if the timeline is not met.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate whenever there is an opportunity.
  • Know the key to successful employee check-ins.

A regular employee check-in with a coach approach is a powerful way to address obstacles and challenges, strengthen working relationships, and increase employee engagement. It’s the catalyst to driving the commitment and accountability required of high-performing organizations.

Like all aspects of leadership, coach leadership is a muscle that needs to be trained and continuously strengthened. Join us this month for our complimentary webinar – An Introduction to Coach Leadership – where you will discover the basic core competencies required in a coaching-style conversation.

The gift of powerful questions, add it to your Coach Leadership toolkit:

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