We’ve worked with line managers who’ve told us they don’t want to intrude on what they see as a private process, but line managers have a key role to play; in helping participants to make sense of their feedback, helping them form clear intentions, providing feedback, and otherwise playing a supportive role. Leadership is a team sport.
- How many feedback sessions?
Based on research we conducted in 2014 and 2015, we recommend coach and coachee have at least three sessions together. In the first session the role of the coach is to explain the data. Thereafter the coach’s job is to help the coachee make sense of the data. This is a process that can’t be hurried. We all have pre-existing identities, the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, including who we are as leaders. Unless we’re in the habit of soliciting frequent regular feedback, some of the feedback we receive may not resonate with that identity, that story. We’re unlikely to abandon our stories willy-nilly based on one round of feedback, nor should we. Feedback is subjective and contextual. Coachees usually require time to make sense of the data, and we encourage them to discuss their results with people who they trust as part of that process. Only once people have fully integrated their feedback will they be truly ready to come up with actions that they will then follow up on.
We’ve worked on programs where the coachee gets just the one briefing session – an explanation of the data. Most often those reports just end up in a drawer, soon forgotten. We’ve worked on programs where coach and coachee are asked to work through all three stages on one session. Often the coachee is asked to fill in a form with agreed goals at the end of the conversation. Those goals usually don’t get actioned.Download Article 1K Club