Put periods in the place of ‘buts’
Mark, a foreman for a Clark County commercial plumbing contractor, told Session 6 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“When we were given our ‘Pearl’ assignment at Session 2 and asked to choose someone we wanted to improve our relationship with, I chose my oldest son. For the past several years, our relationship has been strained. Like any other parent, I wanted to coach him to be a better student, athlete and grow into a successful young man. At Session 3 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab, I saw for the first time that I wasn’t competently ‘coaching;’ instead, I was clumsily criticizing. I would give him praise, and then I would say the dreaded B-word, ‘but.’ I realized for the first time that as soon as I said ‘but,’ he would shut down and quit listening to me entirely. I could have been giving him the greatest advice in the world and he would refuse to listen as soon as the negative ‘but’ came out of my mouth. Then the cycle would continue to spiral downward. This was causing me to become furious with him for not listening and he would get mad at me because I was criticizing him. It was a vicious, downward cycle. I decided to utilize Leadership Principle #3 – Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain, and began to implement the 4 P’s of Empowering Coaching in place of the dreaded ‘but’ with accompanying criticisms as before.
|Step 1 - Begin with Praise
Tell them what they are doing well:
“You are doing this part well . . . “
“I like your energy . . . .”
“Great start . . .”
|Step 2 - Permission
Ask permission to provide input
“I see a way to make things easier /
faster / safer. May I mention it?”
|Step 3 - Performance
Show them one way to improve focus
on behavior [not on attitude]
“I recommend . . .”
|Step 4 - Prediction
Predict successful and practical outcomes.
“You are going to be one of our best . .”
“Soon you will be twice as . .
. . . fast”
. . . safe”
. . . effective”, etc.
“Using the 4 P’s of Empowering Coaching correctly has led to us having a much improved relationship. He no longer shuts me out and actually implements the advice I give him happily, and I’m no longer mad at him for not listening.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that criticism comes naturally; I do it unintentionally. I must be fully conscious to provide empowering coaching. The action I call you to take is really focus on the 4 P’s of Empowering Coaching instead of the dreaded ‘but’ of criticism. The benefit you will gain is you will become an empowering coach. People will eagerly and happily follow your advice without you or them feeling frustrated.”
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