|Internet Survey Results:
Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D.
Many leaders tell us they just dont have time to coach others. Researchers have found that the "coaching style" is used least often.* Doing more with less, working managers, performance based compensation, focusing on results, and temporary organizations are all seen as contributing factors. Yet, some leaders make the timehow do they plan, manage and find the time to coach?
One hundred leaders responded via the internet to our survey: How Do You Find Time to Coach? How committed are they to coaching? 80% said they live by the belief that coaching is a critical leadership responsibility and a major success role for themselves and the people they coach. They backed this belief with their time; 80% spend more than 4 hours per week coaching others, with half of them exceeding the norm by spending between 8 12 hours per week or approximately 20% of their time. One respondent best captured the guiding philosophy of this group when they said, "If you believe, the time becomes available."
These leaders are very purposeful in planning for and executing their coaching responsibilities as indicated by their response to the question, "Which of the following formal planning tools do you use to help you make time for coaching others?"
"Plan big and try hard" was the advice offered by one respondent. While another captured the importance of having a plan and working that plan, "My integrity as a coach is tied to my willingness to establish and then follow through on commitments." All respondents used formal planning aides to "write it in ink and stick to it!" The two most popular were some form of the Day Timer and Computer Scheduler.
Coaching has many motivators, for this group the top actions they took during the year to advance their coaching goals were:
What is interesting is that half of these actions deal directly with meeting and working with others and half relate to introspection and self-development of the coach. These participants want to both spend the time coaching others and to continue developing their skills and approaches to coaching. One respondent states, "I have found that coaching others automatically increases my personal development, I learn as much from others as I hope they do from me."
Bottom linewhy do these leaders make time for coaching?
The answer is best found in the following comments:
So, the next time someone says they dont have time to coach, smile because you know better. The old adage, people make time for what is important, applies. Limited time is not the problem, it is the condition, a given. The problem is how important coaching is relative to all your leadership responsibilitieswhat is its priority? You dont manage time, you can manage your priorities. For this group of respondents coaching is at the top of their priority list.
* Daniel Goleman. Leadership That Gets Results. Harvard BusinessReview. Volume 78, pp 78-90, March/April, 2000.
About the Author
Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D. CEO, Center for Coaching & Mentoring has over twenty years experience in training and organization development, as an internal change agent and external consultant. For comments or additional information email Matt from the selection below.
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Matt Starcevich, matt@coachingandmentoring