Wednesday, 13 March 2013

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Learn how to build a game plan and commit people to their goal.
Whenever there are vacancies for promotion, the Management always keep a lookout for Mary’s staff as they are often the best candidates.
          Mary earns a reputation as a people builder because her staff are not only well-trained but are also committed to their work. What makes Mary (and her staff) stand out?
          In Lesson 13, you are now at the “Say” stage of the three-stage Coaching Model after having been at the “See” stage in the previous lessons.
          In this lesson, you will learn how to use the action learning tool to build a game plan and commit people to their goal.

What is action learning?
          One key reason why Mary is successful in developing her team is because she has a detailed plan with clear steps on what they will do and how they can get there.
          She believes that when there are clear plans, her staff will be able to move about and do things with confidence.
          In doing so, they begin to learn, and as time progresses, they will have their own ideas (and even better ones) to perform different and bigger tasks with success as well. This makes her staff obvious candidates when there are opportunities for advancement.

How is action learning carried out?
          The first thing that Mary does with her team is to define the goal clearly using the S.M.A.R.T criteria.
          “S” is making the goal as specific as possible. It is not enough, for instance, to say you want to “improve communication skills”.
          By forcing specificity into it, it may be to “improve my calmness when I communicate with people”.
          “M” is on the measurements used to denote the goal being achieved. Some of them may be word fluency, conversation duration and comfort with people.
          “A” is to gauge how achievable is the goal. One question that is often asked is, “Where are you now and when do you want this achieved”?
          “R” is for relevance or the important of the goal. The rationale is if it is not important enough, the person will not strive hard enough for it.
          A commonly asked question is, “How important is the goal and who else will benefit from this?”
          “T” is for timeline and the question “When do you want it?” is often asked.

How are commitment and accountability built into it?
          Ask directly for commitment with a question such as, “How committed are you or what will you do to show your commitment?” this is an effective way to know the extent of their commitment.
          Another good way to set the stage for their commitment to begin is to ask, “ What is your first step or what will you be accountable to doing?”

How can the change be sustained?
          As making changes or commitment to doing something is often a “lonely and even painful” journey, helping the person to get support and resources can ease part of the burden.
          In the best interest of those people making the change, helping them locate support or resources will help them sustain the change.
          For example, helping a first-time jogger with an iPod while jogging or getting friends to jog with him can help to sustain the momentum of change.
          A good question to ask is, “What can you find that can help you enjoy the experience more, or where can you find something/someone to help you?”

What have you learn from this lesson?
1.    When someone tells you that he aims to be a successful manager, how can you help him using the SMART criteria?
2.    What can happen if his goal is not clearly defined?
3.    What are possible resources to help someone who wants to be a more responsible father?
4.    What are the types of support to help him with the change?
5.    What questions can you ask to gauge his commitment to the goal?