An increasing part of my weeks are spent with clients in Business Coaching conversations. Interestingly, I do not identify as a Business Coach and tend to view myself more as a thought partner for talented leaders who know what they need to do, and just need some clear thinking time to map out a plan to get there. Our working lives are increasingly busy and the roles we play in both our professional and personal arenas are very demanding.
When I worked for Diageo Australia I managed a team of Trade Marketing and Events & Sponsorship professionals. It was this experience, and the high performance framework and tools provided by the Human Resource team that enabled me to develop a people management framework that I have since used with many clients.
Where to Begin When Mapping out a People Management Plan
When I work with new clients, I ask them to complete a questionnaire to help uncover their greatest challenges in their current role and what they would like from their time with me. Depending on the client’s goals and where they’re at in their professional journey, I will then map out a suggested framework for how we approach our time together, including the focus for the first two set up sessions and a general guide to the types of areas we can focus on together.
As an example, I have recently begun working with an Event Director who has managed up to 28 contractors at one time in multiple markets and geographic areas across the globe. What’s interesting about this client is that she does not think she is a particularly good people manager because of some historical issues she’s had with inherited staff (meaning, employed by her predecessors) who did not perform at the level required and so caused a lot of issues for her when it came to their capacity to deliver in a highly demanding environment.
After a recent restructure, she has successfully secured additional permanent resources and has two new direct reports. The good news is that she’s played an active role in the recruitment of these two staff members and so she’s very keen to start out as she means to go. We originally worked together a number of years ago when I worked with her and her team on their career plans, and we opened up the conversation again recently when she requested my services once more as part of her Professional Development Plan.
Creating a Framework for Professional Success
When we reviewed where she is at and what she needs, I developed the following suggested framework for business coaching sessions. Yes, I am learning to call it Business Coaching, but I do this more for the language my clients use to describe me, rather than how I personally identify with my role in their professional journey.
The focus of these sessions is to set you up for success in your role as a People Manager by providing you with a mindset for managing and leading your team that is consistent with you and your team’s preferred communication styles.
Our sessions are an opportunity for you to collect your thoughts, take a more strategic view of how you manage your role as a leader and be more mindful about your natural style and what your team needs from you to perform at a high level.
Practical Set Up for Your Management Approach
I can add the most value with practical set up of your management approach in the following areas:
- discussing and agreeing individual and team objectives
- discussing and agreeing way of working with your team, including your individual communication preferences
- motivating and leading your team based on their communication preferences
- creating and communicating clear role profiles (as and if required)
- managing performance (both high performance and performance below the standard expected)
- training and induction best practice for new team members
- running effective meetings (remote and face to face)
- managing sick leave and annual leave plans
Session Format & Timing
We will begin by you completing the business coaching questionnaire. We will then meet 1:1 for a 2 hour session to review your answers and work through yours and your team’s role profiles.
We will then meet 2-3 weeks later for the communication style review session. I will provide you with tools at the first session to work through this with your team.
Time to Plan & Reflect
The approach I take is different for everyone and will depend on their needs and budget. I believe everyone has the answers within them and just need to take the time to create the space to discuss their plans and have an external stakeholder help them draw out the insights and learn from their experiences as a people manager.