Recent research suggests that employees are seeing a number of advantages in their overall productivity and wellbeing. At the same time, the greatest challenges of hybrid work include: having the right tools to be effective at work. Furthermore, feeling less connected to the organization’s culture. Not to mention, impaired collaboration and relationships, and disrupted work processes.
In response to these trends, we think what we need right now in the workplace is better conversations.
Everyday coaching conversations. Such as the ones we cover in our Leader as Coach program.
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Different levels of conversation
It is important to recognise that there are different levels of conversations that you can have. As a leader, manager and coach, we need to be aware of this distinction. This recognition allows you to have more effective conversations. Furthermore, to ask more effective questions when coaching. Let’s explore each level briefly. And of course, tune into the Coaching Café to hear the full description and coaching questions.
You’d be aware of surface level conversations. They are the ‘warm up’ conversations. Particularly asking questions such as: How’s your day going? What’s the weather like out there? In our hybrid working environment, it’s still very important to have these casual check-in conversations. Rather than getting straight down to business!
Level 2 is all about eliciting the facts of the situation. This is quite natural for most managers. To ask closed questions to get to the facts. What we want to see and hear is more open questions.
When it comes to thinking at level 3, there are risks for managers. In particular, technical managers who are subject manner experts. They think they have the answers. Furthermore, know what’s best. But the important concept is to let the person we are coaching do the thinking. And asking great questions here can really help bring out their thinking.
A lot of managers won’t go here. To feeling level 4. They like to stick with thinking. But when it comes to hybrid workplaces, we need to tap into what people are thinking and feeling. It creates that connection that people are missing. Moreover, the connection that people say is important to engagement and productivity in the workplace.
The Inner Level 5 is all about answering: what’s most important? This is the focus of several of our webinars. Particularly, our latest webinar with Veronica Millen. Veronica talks about Career Agility and finding the ‘sweet spot’ in our careers. This is about understanding skills, needs and interests. Asking ‘inner questions’ can bring this out in the person we are coaching.
Every week our team of experts present “Coaching Cafe” webinar with topics for Managers, Leaders, Business Owners, and everyone who wants to be a better workplace coach, leading their teams to higher productivity, better outcomes and a happier, healthier workplace.