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Why Competency Models Can Keep The FUD Factor In Coaching From Eating You Alive

Imagine you are a successful individual contributor who has just been promoted into your first management role.   You have 8 direct reports that you’ve worked with in the past, but do you really “know” them?  All eyes are on you as you have to begin showing your coaching capabilities… something you’ve never had to do before.  Where do you begin? 

If you have competency models for the roles of your team, and a competency assessment tool, your fear, uncertainty and doubt (“the FUD factor”) are over.  You can use the skills in the model, and the skills assessment data (yours and your direct reports) to have a data driven conversation about specific areas where they are strong, and where they need help. 

Your conversation can go something like this:

You see a perceptual difference – some skill where they think they are strong and you think they are lower. 

You:  “I see that you appear to have a real strength in this area, and I’m not familiar with it.  Can you give me some examples where you have performed these behaviors?”  (While looking at behavioral examples)

You both agree on a particular area of strength they have.

You:  “You’re really strong at this skill.  There are several people on our team/in the region that could really use assistance improving here.  How do you feel about being assigned as a task-based mentor to one of those people from time to time?”

You both agree on some skill gaps they have.

You:  It looks like there are 4 skill gaps.  Which 1 or 2 do you think most affect your success in your role?  Let’s take a look at what learning opportunities are available to close them.  What do you prefer?  Would you like to work with a mentor on this activity?  Let’s look at the behavioral examples, to see what types of projects might be useful for skill building.

Now, in every subsequent 1:1 conversation, you’ve got great talking points.  

  • What activities did you complete?
  • What did you learn from them?
  • How can I help you to apply these new skills?
  • What experiences can I provide for practice or to complement the activity?
  • How can we celebrate your achievement?
  • What will best help you prepare for your next role?

The quality of one’s manager, and their ability to have great conversations and develop them is one of the reasons people stay in a job and remain engaged.  And conversely, when a manager can’t do this well, it’s why they leave. When you give a manager a roadmap to do this well, you drive skill gap closure, engagement and retention.

If you want to improve the capabilities of your managers, and help them maximize the daily impact on their direct reports, don’t let fear, uncertainty and doubt get in the way.  Embrace competency models and make them actionable so they can be used daily.

Also at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-competency-models-can-keep-fud-factor-coaching-from-cheryl-lasse and https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/Career-Development-Blog/2016/06/How-to-Use-Competency-Models-for-Coaching

 

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