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Short Interval Control & Coaching

Not necessarily a title you would expect to see in a coaching blog, but something I have been giving a lot of thought to recently. I am fortunate enough to do a lot of work as part of my consulting work . This generally includes an amount of  group and or team coaching as well as individual coaching. In this environment the client (company) desires maximum impact in a shortest practical time is as considered reasonable. It is perfectly achievable with the correct approach.

There is no surprises there, but what does it actually mean? In my experience when a consulting client has the desire to move things on, it is not just about the culture of openness, but a clear objective. Most of time, the  individual coachees know exactly what is expected of them, but they are unclear on how to achieve it.  Usually it is some sort of mental block or environmental (company culture) challenge. This is why it is essential in these circumstances to work with every level. The second critical element is  “short interval control”, that in this context is a regular coaching cadence, with very clear follow-up, homework and action. After the initial trust building sessions, then the shorter sessions can happen weekly or even less frequently and can only take from 15 to 30 mins. The critical success factor is to create a sense of collective responsibility through the group sessions, and then individual responsibility through the  singular sessions.

So what is short interval control ? In a manufacturing or commercial environment it is where every level of the organisation is communicating and feeding back on a regular basis, with simple reports, check sheets and  short meetings. This is where numerous short term and effective actions, can have considerable  positive effect following the principles of synergy. If we are to be effective as coaches in this environment, it is important we role model the same behaviour and work in a way that mimics what is desired. This approach also creates very concentrated focus. One the primary objective is achieved, it is possible to go onto another one. The trick is to keep on top of the challenges in a way that you are dealing with them at a rate that is faster than other ones may appear.

For the purposes of clarity, this is  not just a simple transactional approach. The coaching has to be high quality and sustainable. Once the coachees start to see results quickly, they buy in further. This creates a compound effect. The coachees become change agents and advocates of the system.

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