A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

Coaching ’em

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

Vince Lombardi


Last week I had the pleasure to present my thoughts and ideas on performance management to a large group of Human Resource professionals on behalf of the Northwest Human Resources Management Association. Specifically, I was presenting my ideas on HR’s role in helping supervisors do “performance management” well.


As I scanned the audience, I was surprised to find so many “seasoned” HR professionals looking back at me with awestruck expressions.  I thought this was curious because I was sure this concept was old hat to them.


But I found something different. These faces, who are the same ones I’ve seen around the HR community for years, belonged to professionals who had not really stepped out of their practical, transactional role and into an advising, non-directive role.  Sure, they proudly wore their “I Luv HR” buttons for years, but their reach and scope in their roles had been limited.


While they recognized the steps of performance management, very few of them realized how to “teach” or “coach” supervisors in these processes. Even fewer of them fully understood how poorly implemented performance management processes could result in quite the opposite…a lack of performance, a lack of clarity, a lack of engagement, etc.  Hence, the need for “coaching” the supervisor is critical!coaching


I knew that many HR pros in my community were working in “traditional” roles, but what was surprising is that so many of them didn’t realize they were still in them! Only when challenged to think about “advising” a supervisor, “mentoring” a manager, or assessing risk did they realize there was a big difference.


I adjusted my presentation accordingly and I must say I’m tickled about the results.


Many of the participants contacted me days after the session and noted that they are now looking at their job in a much different light! They feel inspired to change the way they behave and engage with their supervisors. They are excited about their roles as employee advocates, and they are willing to “push” the envelope when it comes to speaking up for what’s right, just and “strategically” smart for their employers.


Remember, no one needs to give you permission to show your value. 
Step out, step up and make up your mind to do it. 


Your customers, your employer, and you…will be glad you did.  



CommunicationsEmployee RelationsHuman ResourcesLeadershipPerformance ManagementRole of HRSkill Development

Heather Kinzie • March 24, 2013

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