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Coaching: Tapping Into Your Employees Potential

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1 Coaching: Tapping Into Your Employees Potential
Explain: You play a crucial role in the success of our agency and the satisfaction of our internal / external customers, partners and our constituents . Ask: Before we move forward….. Can you tell me…who are these individuals? (i.e., 1 internal employees, partners (states) other agencies 2 external constituents) Are they the same individuals or groups for each department within EPA? How do we, as leaders at the EPA impact the work that our employees (our primary internal customers) do? Say: Effective Coaches are developed, not born. They have, over time, acquired the skills and attitudes to create an environment that nurtures learning and development. To become a more effective coach we are introducing a coaching model that will take you step by step through the process. Coaching: Tapping Into Your Employees Potential

2   Objectives After this workshop you will be able to:
Display: And review “Workshop Objectives” Display: So what makes an “Effective Coach”? Say: To become a more effective coach, review the following attributes to identify areas in which you are strong, as well as aspects of your coaching style that need improvement. Ask: Can you link your answers to your DiSC profile results? Do you see that there are various elements of each dimension or style in this list? Explain: Recognizing your employee’s areas of strength and areas requiring improvement helps you coach and develop your staff more effectively. Coaching is one of the most powerful ways to help employees grow. The first step in establishing an effective coaching effort is to determine the specific coaching needs of each individual employee. There are many ways of making that determination, the easiest way is to talk with them and discuss what areas of competency they would like, or need to improve to become more effective in performing their job. After this workshop you will be able to: Set the groundwork for productive coaching sessions Understand the importance of your role in sharing performance expectations with your employees Observe your employees in a productive manner, allowing you to compare the observed performance with what was agreed upon Provide meaningful feedback to your employees Document all feedback sessions with your employees, as well as other events that take place during the course of your work day. Use the EPA Performance cycle to assist you in preparing annual performance reviews for your employees.

3 Effective Coaches Base the coaching relationship on trust, not similarity Are optimistic about human nature Meet people where they are Give people opportunities to take risks and learn from their mistakes Listen more than they talk Are patient, and are willing to find the “coachable” moment Speak candidly, but dispense their message in the right size dose Cultivate personal accountability and ownership Approach resistance and reluctance to change with curiosity Know their own strengths and limitations Are continuous learners

4 The EPA Performance Cycle
Say: Consider this statement “We are only as good as our worst performers on their worst day.” Ask: Do you have staff members that are not working up to the general performance expectations of your organization? What are you doing to help them improve their production? Say: Let’s take a look at the EPA Coaching Process and discover how these six steps will assist you in your development and the development of your staff members. Display: Turn to Page 3 and let’s take a look at this process together. Clarify Performance expectations – What specifically do we want employees to be doing. Communicate what they are accountable to do and say. Observe – Inspect what we expect. Ask: What do you think that statement means? Analyze Gaps – Analyzing what you observed and comparing it to the performance expectations you and your employee have agreed would meet expectations. Your observations may meet, exceed, or fall below those agreed upon performance expectations. Provide Meaningful Feedback – it’s easy to give positive feedback and most of us shy away from the constructive feedback. Stick to the Why, what, where, when and how approach! This process will enable you have productive conversations with your employees. Document – most people do not have photogenic memories…. With this in mind, written documentation will record events, both positive and constructive for future reference. Performance Expectation Review – If you Clarify performance expectations, Observe, Analyze Gaps, Provide Feedback and Document…. Preparing performance discussions will be quick, easy, objective and complete. Could it be true? Are we are only as good as our worst performer on their worst day? Clarify Performance Expectations: Observe: Gap Analysis: Provide Feedback: Document: Performance Review: Provide Feedback Observe Clarify Performance Expectations Review Document Gaps Analysis Page 3

5 Building a Productive Relationship With Your Employees
The EPA Performance Cycle Ask: Have you ever sat in a performance review and suddenly discovered that you were not meeting your organizations department standards or performance expectations? Stress: There should never be any surprises on a performance review. Say: Before we dissect the EPA Coaching Cycle, let’s set the ground work for productive coaching sessions. Direct: Turn to page 4 and 5 in your workbooks. Here you will find an exercise that is meant to establish a benchmark for all future conversations, whether they are formal or informal in nature. Before you sit down for the first coaching session with your employee, you can ask them to answer six (6) simple questions. Their answers will guide your approach for effectively communicating with them. You too will answer the same 6 questions and share your responses with each other. Exercise: 1) Pair up with someone who has a different DiSC profile than yours. 2) Decide who should be the Supervisor/Coach and who will take on the role of the Employee. 3) Answer the 6 questions on your sheets and then share your answers with each other. Time: You have 20 minutes to complete this exercise. Debrief: What did you learn about your partner? More importantly, what did you learn about yourself? Say: As we discussed on Monday, the way we communicate, the way we give and receive information may differ from one employee to another. Some of you may prefer a more formal setting and others less formal. Some employees prefer “straight talk” and others want you to “talk it out.” Building a Productive Relationship With Your Employees Directions: You are the Supervisor/Coach. Answer the following questions as though you will be sharing the responses with your employee. You will ask the employee what they want to share FIRST, once they are finished, you will share your information. Always ASK before you TELL! Page 4 & 5 Your employee asks you: As their supervisor/coach, you respond: What can I do to help you get the most out of our coaching relationship? How can I communicate with you most effectively? How would you prefer to communicate with me? If there were ever conflict between us, what might create that conflict? How would you prefer that our sessions be structured? Is there anything else you would like me to know about working most effectively with you?

6 Building a Productive Relationship With Your Supervisor
The EPA Performance Cycle EXERCISE DIRECTIONS ON PAGE 4. Building a Productive Relationship With Your Supervisor Directions: You are the employee. Answer the following questions as though you will be sharing the information with your supervisor. Page 5 Your supervisor asks you: You respond to your supervisor: What can I do to help you get the most out of our coaching relationship? How can I communicate with you most effectively? How would you prefer to communicate with me? If there were ever conflict between us, what might create that conflict? How would you prefer that our sessions be structured? Is there anything else you would like me to know about working most effectively with you?

7 Clarifying Performance Expectations
The EPA Performance Cycle Review: When we review performance Expectations we need to consider their impact on others and the work to be produced. Three elements must be considered while you are determining what Performance Expectations should be addressed: They must be Specific, Observable and based on the agreed upon performance expectations Ask: What do you think we mean by, Specific, Observable, and Expectation/Behavior Oriented? Review: Take a look at the examples on page 6 in your workbooks. Direct: Read the examples Ask: Does anyone have any questions? Do you think that the examples are clear? Would you or could you make them more specific? Say: These four steps will help you to identify the commitment level of the employees. Direct: During our discussion on diversity we passed out a document entitled, “Impact of Values on Career Expectations.” We discussed how culturally based expectation of employees, and possibly, their dominant DiSC dimension may guide your “Performance expectation” discussions. You may want to keep this information with in arms length as we work through the performance expectation step of the coaching cycle. Clarifying Performance Expectations Identify and agree on the performance expectations. Test these expectations to make sure they are: Specific Observable Based on agreed upon expectations (technical or behavioral) Communicate performance expectations so employees know what is expected of them. State: WHAT you are looking for. (Specific performance expectation). For example: “All monthly reports are due to the division head on the 25th of each month.” WHY the performance expectation is important. (Is it meaningful to the employee and to the organization?) “The information we provide is included in the overall Program report shared with our Senior Management Team.” The resources we are granted to continue our work is greatly impacted by the information we share. HOW do you perform the task or display the behavior? (Agree on how the performance should look, sound, and feel.) Have you ever performed this type of task before in your previous positions? (“I like to mark my personal calendar a day or two in advance to remind me of reports that are due, and then again on the day they are due.”) CHECK to make sure the employee understands the performance expectation and how they can use or practice it in their work. (Dose the employee agree that the expectation is realistic and can be achieved within the time frame agreed on.) Based on our conversation, what steps will you take to help you deliver your reports to the division head on the 25th of each month? Page 6 Ask them! Ask them!

8 The EPA Performance Cycle
Say: Your ability to effectively communicate expectations to your employees is a one of the most important roles as a supervisor. Let’s take a few moments to work through an exercise that will help you better understand the importance of this skill. Exercise: Review directions on page 7. Time: You have 5 minutes to indicate your choices Exercise Continued: In your table groups, share your responses and discuss your expectations. Discuss ways to work with employees to get the desired behaviors. Ask one of your group members to chart your ideas on flip chart paper. Report out ideas / suggestions to the group. Wrap up: Each participant in your small groups needs to respond to complete this statement: “One thing I can do to get more of the expected behaviors from my employees is…” Ask: What similarities and differences in responses were there in your group? Which behaviors are more difficult to get from your employees? Directions: Each group will be assigned one of the four lists noted below. With your group members, brainstorm various ways to communicate the importance of these behaviors with your staff members. Be specific…. what would you say…what would you do? Use the What, Why How and Check process when preparing your presentations. Communicate Announce Problems _____ Let me know when something is unclear or confusing. _____ Ask if you do not understand. _____ All Employees should speak English at work. _____ Derogatory remarks will not be tolerated. _____ Work team members are to share information with each other on a regular basis _____ Other _______________________ Time Solve Problems and Take Initiative _____ Let me know when a mistake has been made. _____ Tell me about complaints from internal and external customers. _____ Let me know when they are having difficulty with completing assignments. _____ Tell me when you disagree. _____ Let me know when there is a problem so we can explore alternatives. _____ Other _______________________ _____ It is important that we meet deadlines on projects and tasks. _____ Give appropriate advance notification if deadlines can’t be met. _____ Make requests for time off in advance. _____ Coordinate break and lunch schedules so there is always someone in the office during normal working hours. _____ Be on time for work, meetings and appointments. _____ Other ______________________________ _____ Suggest improvements and solutions for work initiatives, processes or tasks. _____ Work cooperatively with others to find solutions when working in teams. _____ Participate actively in staff meetings, updating colleagues on projects and when you need help in accomplishing a task. _____ When appropriate, take independent action to deal with problems . _____ Risk taking can often lead to innovative solutions. _____ Other ___________________________.

9 The EPA Performance Cycle
Say: Now let’s start preparing a way to share this performance expectation with a new employee who has just joined your work group. Exercise: Choose one of the performance expectations from Page 7. In the space provided on Page 8, write what you would say to share this important performance expectation to your new employee. Facilitator Note: Break the class up in to work groups. Three participants in each group. Explain: Now we can practice communicating the message to the employee. Each of you will have 7 minutes (or so) to complete this exercise. Each of you will have a chance to be the “Supervisor”, and play the “Employee” who is receiving the information. The 3rd person in your group, your “Observer” should be listening carefully to the message and make sure that it covers each step in the “What?, Why? How? And Check?” (as seen on page 6) Once completed the “Observer” will be able to give the “Supervisor” feedback on the supervisors delivery. For those of you who are acting as the “Employee” please do not respond in an aggressive manner to the “Supervisor” at this point in time. You will have your chance to do that later in this workshop! Ask: Does everyone understand what we are trying to accomplish during this exercise? Say: I will call time after each round, and will walking around to answer any additional questions that you may have during the exercise. Display: Review the process and discuss the elements they should be listening for. Discuss: How did you do with explaining the performance expectations to your group members? Ask: What value do you think this might have in the coaching process? The EPA Performance Cycle Clarifying Performance Expectations Directions: Review the performance expectations you worked on with your table group. Take a few minutes to re-write the “What, Why, How and Check” in your own words. In the space below, write “specifically” what you will say to communicate this important “agreed upon” expectation. Remember, be specific, make it measurable and based on the task or behavior you agreed upon. What? Why? How? Check? Page 8 Ask them! Ask them!

10 The EPA Performance Cycle
Say: Let’s move on to the next step of the EPA Coaching Process, Observing. Review: On Page 9 you will find that there are five critical elements to Observing. Have a reason – What is your goal? What do you hope to achieve? This is not a “Gotcha”… it’s a chance to observe some of the great things your employees are currently doing and saying. Have a plan – Plan your time accordingly. Make sure the employee is observed during slow and peak times of their day. Focus on a few – Do not try to observe more than two or three performance Expectations at a time. Ask: What happens when you look at took many things at a time? (Answer: You are distracted!) Eliminate distractions – Don’t let anyone or anything come in between you and your planned observation. Finally, take notes on: Quality and Consistency. Have you ever had a bad day? A time when you were not working at a normal speed and the quality of your work not your best? Keep that in mind. This is the reason that you want to watch the same person performing the same task more than once or twice. Page 9 Observing Guidelines When you are able to observe a specific behavior or task….. Have a reason: (I.e., I need to evaluate Mary when she makes her presentation to our State constituents) Have a plan: (Mary will make her next presentation on the 20th of this next month) Focus on a few: (I will focus on two things during the presentation, vocal variety and her ability to connect with the audience.) Eliminate distractions: (Make sure you position yourself at the presentation session where there will be no distractions) Take notes on: Quality (what is the overall quality of the this presentation) Consistency (What did she do, what did she say, was she consistent throughout the presentation) Document...Document...Document...

11 The EPA Performance Cycle
Say: Moving on to the next step in our Coaching Cycle we come to “Analyze Gaps.” (This is a critical part of the cycle. ) Review: As we look at Page 11 in our workbooks you will see how to analyze the information that you have gathered during your “Observations”. What? – What did you see or hear? Identify the difference between actual and agreed upon performance expectation. So What? – What difference does it make? Determine the gap and the impact the gap has on your internal and external customers, partners, co-workers and or the organization. Now What? – Where do you go from here? Decide what needs to be done, or what you need like to see change to meet the specific standards within your organization Review: Refer to Wall Chart of EPA Coaching Cycle. Let’s go back and review where we are….. Say: We started by “Clarifying Performance Expectations,” if we are not clear from the very start of the cycle, the rest of the steps will not be effective or useful in the development of your employees. Then we moved onto “Observing.” You cannot give effective feedback to your employees if you are not aware of their actions “first hand!” You cannot manage or lead from behind a desk. “See and be seen!” Make sure your observations are clear and objective. To be objective you must do two things…. Depersonalize and Disengage. Make sure you focus on the “situation, issue or behavior” not on the person. The last thing we covered is “Analyzing Gaps.” Here is where we determine the “What?, So What? and the Now What?” Explain: There is no better way to learn and understand a new Management Tool than to practice it. So, here is what we will be doing this afternoon. Facilitators Note: Refer to Page 10 for directions for lunch hour exercise. The EPA Performance Cycle Page 11 Analyzing Gaps What? Identify the differences between actual performance and the agreed upon performance expectation. Is it better than expected? (exceeds expectations) Is it worse than expected? (below expectations) Is it inconsistent? (not meeting expectations consistently) So What? Determine the gap and its impact on your internal and external customers, partners, co-workers and or the organization. Now What? Decide what needs to be done, or what behaviors or tasks would you like to see change.

12 The EPA Performance Cycle
Ask: How many of you have received regular feedback from your leadership team? When you receive feedback, is it helpful, objective and delivered in a timely manner? Explain: There are two types of feedback you can share with your employees: Display: Giving Effective Performance Feedback When your employee is performing well, feedback can increase his or her confidence and encourage him or her to continue at that level of performance. When an employee is not performing as well as you would like, feedback can help the employee determine how to change and improve his or her performance, which can increase his or her feelings of competence. Point:Out: Remember, your employees cannot read your mind. You must give feedback often and well to create and sustain excellence in your work team. Not receiving feedback yourself is not an excuse for failing to give feedback to your employees. Transition: Let’s look at the important elements for giving effective feedback. Display: Make your feedback specific and clear. Make sure the employee understands what needs to be changed, to what degree, and in what time frame. For example, saying “Great job, Frank,” is not as effective as “Frank, you really listened to your customers needs. I think the patience and attention you showed was the key to getting the information they needed to complete their report.” Ensure your feedback is factual vs. judgmental. Avoid feedback overload. When giving feedback, concentrate on one thing at a time and make it simple and direct. Feedback that covers too many performance areas tends to overwhelm the employee and blurs the message your are trying to communicate. Separate positive feedback from constructive feedback. Do not confuse the employee by sandwiching the good with the constructive feedback! The EPA Performance Cycle Page 15 Giving Effective Performance Feedback When actual performance meets/exceeds what you agreed upon In these instances, feedback can help to increase confidence and encourages employee to maintain high performance When actual performance falls short of what was initially agreed upon In these instances, feedback can help to increases competence and encourages the employee to achieve higher performance

13 Keys to Effective Feedback
Make your feedback specific and clear Avoid feedback overload Separate positive feedback from constructive feedback Does the employee understand what needs to change, to what degree and in what time frame Concentrate on one thing at a time. Make it simple and direct. Too much too fast overwhelms And blurs the message. Do not sandwich the good and the Constructive feedback.

14 The EPA Performance Cycle
Ask: So what does this look like? Direct: On Page 16 in your workbooks you will see a familiar pattern to this step. What, Why, How and Check. Explain: When you are ready to provide feedback to your employee refer to the work you have completed. This information will guide you through the conversation you are about to have. Say: Before you deliver the news consider three things….. Display: Positive feedback can be powerful when it is given publicly. Know your employees, not everyone is receptive or comfortable with public praise. In some instances, private praise is appropriate and appreciated. Team meetings are a convenient forum for giving positive feedback, both to the group/team or individuals. constructive feedback is most effective when given privately to help focus the person’s attention on the Expectation or behavior rather than on his or her embarrassment or resentment. Timing: Positive feedback is most effective when given as soon as possible after the performance. constructive feedback is most effective when given right before the person is ready to perform again. Effect: In situations in which it is not practical to split your feedback, it is very important to avoid linking positive feedback and constructive feedback. Pause between the positive and constructive feedback and involve the employee as you move from discussing his or her successes to discussing those areas he or she needs to improve. Giving Effective Performance Feedback To give effective feedback, describe: What gaps you observed (actual performance vs. agreed upon performance expectation) Why this gap is important to address (impact on customers, co-workers or organization) Determine what the employee has been doing to attempt to meet the expectation. What obstacles are they encountering? Does the goal or expectation need to be changed? How the employee’s performance/behavior should: Continue (if gap is positive or there is no gap between the actual performance and the agreed upon performance expectation) Change (if the gap is negative or below the agreed upon performance expectation) Check (developmental): Is the feedback understood and accepted by the employee? What will they do to change their behavior or process? Set the new performance expectation. Page 16 This is where the conversation takes place!

15 The EPA Performance Cycle
When Where and How Positive Public or Private praise Constructive Private Timing Is Everything! Feedback is most effective when given as soon as possible after your observation to promote continuation and increase confidence (Reinforce) Feedback is most effective when given as soon as possible to avoid repeating the behavior or action, and allowing employee to make corrections (Change) Effect Avoid linking Positive and Constructive feedback

16 The EPA Performance Cycle
Refer: Let’s review the specific guidelines for feedback on Page 17: Behavior Oriented, Specific, Simple and Relevant. Display: Read the information from the overhead. Based upon agreed on Expectations / Behavior Oriented Focus on what the employee has done (or not done). Focus on the situation, issue, or behavior, not on the person. Specific Pinpoint discrete, observable Expectations/ behaviors; don’t use vague descriptions or judgments. Be objective. Simple Concentrate on one or two things at a time; don’t overwhelm the employee with too much information at once. Relevant Make sure the employee can act on your feedback (does he or she have the skills, knowledge, systems support, or whatever else is required)? Feedback Guidelines Make sure your feedback is: Focus on the Expectation (task or behavior) Focus on what the employee has done (or not done). Focus on the situation, issue, or behavior, not on the person. Specific Pinpoint discrete, observable performance expectations/ behaviors; don’t use vague descriptions or judgments. Be objective. Simple Concentrate on one or two things at a time; don’t overwhelm the employee with too much information at once. Ask the employee to give you a list of options they have available to accomplish the expectation. Ask the employee if they would like you to suggest some alternative ways of accomplishing the expectation. Relevant Make sure the employee can act on your feedback (does he or she have the skills, knowledge, systems support, or whatever else is required)? Ask the employee to determine what will happen and when that might take place. Page 17

17 The EPA Performance Cycle
Exercise: On Page 18 we have a quick exercise to see if you can identify these elements in someone’s feedback to an employee. Take about 10 minutes to see if you can determine what, if anything has been missed in these delivery statements. Answers: 1) Not specific, did not identify the actual behavior/expectation. It’s simple but how relevant? 2) Not relevant and not based on expectations or behavior. 3) Not simple, too many things pointed out at one time. 4) It’s specific, it’s relevant, it’s behavior oriented, and It’s simple. Transition: Before we practice this step of the Coaching Cycle let’s stop and talk about how you deliver information to your employees. Ask: Have you ever discussed “How” you would like feedback to be delivered with your supervisor? Say: One of the most important elements of giving feedback is the way the information is presented. Giving Feedback Analyzing Feedback Worksheet Directions: Some of the statements listed below do not follow the guidelines for effective feedback. For each statement, identify which guideline(s) have been missed. Page 18 Statement “You’re doing a great job. Your co-workers really appreciate all that you do for them.” “You should get your hair cut. I think that you will be able to present yourself in a more professional manner. What do you think? I could actually help you find someone.” “Meeting deadlines is very important to our internal partners. Before you go to lunch make sure you check when everyone else is going so we have coverage, be sure to submit your activity report by Friday morning; and call the contractor to see when we will be getting a copy of last months status report. Okay?” “You have an opportunity to work with employees from different regions. We require our staff to address all issues presented within 24 hours. If you do not have an answer to their inquiry within that time frame, call or your colleagues to advise them of the current status. Your colleagues will appreciate your attention and feel that you are taking time to assist them.” Missed Guideline(s)

18 The EPA Performance Cycle
Direct: Let’s take a few minute and quickly read the information on page 19 in your workbooks. Say: We have already discussed some of these points, for example, “Build Relationships First”; “Make Observations about Behaviors and Conditions, Not Judgments about the person”; and Be Positive, Telling What You Do Want, Not What You Don’t.” Facilitator Note: You can either have a group discussion on these topics or break the group into six units to answer the questions and deliver their responses to the group. Exercise: (a) As a group… ask each questions and solicit responses from the participants. OR (b) Break the class into six (6) groups and ask them each to answer one of the following questions. (1) What do you think we mean when we say “Position the Feedback as a Benefit to the Receiver?” (2) Think about the cultural diversity that exists here at the EPA. With that in mind, what do you think we mean by “Go from Subtle to More Direct Communication?” (3) Why would we want to “Give Feedback to the Group Rather Than to Individual?” When is this tactic appropriate, or not appropriate? (4) What does your vocal tone have to do with giving feedback? (5) When is appropriate to use an Intermediary? (6) And finally, why is it important to “Assure the Individual of Your Respect for Him/Her?” Giving Effective Feedback Without Loss Of Face Feedback is essential in any work environment. Employees need to know when they are on track and when they are not. However, feedback is difficult enough to take in mainstream American culture, which values directness, let alone in cultures that value more subtle communications, harmony, and the saving of face. Before giving feedback, it is important to examine your motives. What is your reason for giving it? Is it really a chance to help the employee learn, or is it a way to assert your authority or to get the person back for something? Feedback that comes out of benevolent motives is more apt to be accepted positively. Once you’re clear that your feedback is truly constructive, the following are some tips that will help. Position the Feedback as a Benefit to the Receiver Build a Relationship First Go from Subtle to More Direct Communication Make Observations about Behaviors and Conditions, Not Judgments about the Person Be Positive, Telling What You Do Want, Not What You Don’t Make It Low-Key Use an Intermediary (3rd party facilitator) Assure the Individual of Your Respect for Him/Her Page 19

19 The EPA Performance Cycle
Say: It’s always easy to write down what we would like to communicate with other… it’s the face to face exchange that is difficult. Ask: Is it easier to give positive or constructive feedback? Say: Let’s start with a practice session for each type of feedback Refer: On Page 21 you will have a chance to prepare and deliver information based on positive feedback. On Page 22 you will prepare a constructive feedback session. Say: When the feedback is meant to change performance, make it future oriented. Employees cannot correct something that is history. They can work on improving that skill for the next interaction. Therefore, it is important to direct this type of feedback to a future Performance Expectation or behavior opportunity. Exercise: Each of you will have an opportunity to act as the Supervisor and deliver your message to your employee (played by one of your classmates). A third person will act as an observer to take copious notes on what you say. The observer will then give you feedback on your delivery. Facilitator Note: Break out into groups of three. The first round of feedback will start with feedback that is meant to change or improve performances. If time allows you may wish to also practice delivering feedback that would praise and employees performance effort. Time: You will have 5 minutes to explain and deliver your feedback delivery to your employee, and then your “Observer” will give you a quick overview of how well you followed the “What, Why, How and Check” process. They will also be looking to make sure that your feedback is: Based on performance expectations, Specific, Simple and Relevant. Explain: Rotate roles so that each of you will be able to act as the Supervisor, the Employee and the Observer. Employees… you role is simple. Accept whatever feedback you receive. You will have a chance later to have input in the process. Observers… you, on the other hand must be sure to capture all of the great things that your Supervisor will do and say. Be sure to use your newly found “Active Listening” skills in this exercise. And, be sure to watch for body language and vocal tones. Ask yourself a questions… Would I feel comfortable receiving this feedback? The EPA Performance Cycle Page Giving Effective Feedback Directions: Using the following framework and your previous gap analysis, outline your positive feedback conversation. What is the gap? Why is it important? How will you encourage the employee to continue or repeat positive behavior or actions?

20 The EPA Performance Cycle
Facilitators Note: Wander around the room and listen to some of the feedback messages. Offer additional feedback where appropriate. Exercise: The second half of this exercise will be on Page I would like you to think of someone that you would like to present positive feedback to. Say: Never underestimate the power of positive feedback. Most supervisors find they give little, if any, positive feedback to their employees. They assume their employees know what they did well. But even if an employee knows he or she has done a good job, it means much more to hear it from a supervisor or manager. In fact, if you tell an employee that he or she is good at something, the person is much more likely to focus on improving that skill than to be satisfied with his or her present level of performance. Page 22 Giving Effective Feedback Directions: Using the following framework and your previous gap analysis, outline your constructive feedback conversation. What is the gap? Why is it important? (what is the impact on self, others, or the organization?) How the behavior or action change? Ask the employee for suggestions, thoughts or ideas! Check for understanding / other suggestions. This is where the conversation takes place!

21 The EPA Performance Cycle
Debrief: How did you do? Did you find that this process allows you to “get to the point”? What did you find difficult, if anything!? What worked? Ask: Do you think that all employees will just sit there and listen intently to what you have to say? Do you think they will ever question your observations? Do you think they will always agree with you 100% Say: It would be an ideal situation if that was what took place. However, unless you have cultivated a climate of constant objective feedback, you will have to deal with something that we call “Push-backs” or “Resistance to Feedback” Giving Feedback Directions: Observer Worksheet - Use the spaces below to record your feedback while observing the practice session containing one feedback situation when the employee did not met the performance expectation. What is the gap? Why is it important? (Did the practicing supervisor clearly describe the impact?) How the behavior or action should change? Did they ask the employee for suggestions, thoughts or ideas? Check for understanding / other suggestions? Was the feedback? Based on the agreed upon performance expectation Specific Simple Relevant Page 23

22 The EPA Performance Cycle
Debrief: How did you do? Did you find that this process allows you to “get to the point”? What did you find difficult, if anything!? What worked? Ask: Do you think that all employees will just sit there and listen intently to what you have to say? Do you think they will ever question your observations? Do you think they will always agree with you 100% Say: It would be an ideal situation if that was what took place. However, unless you have cultivated a climate of constant objective feedback, you will have to deal with something that we call “Push-backs” or “Resistance to Feedback” Giving Feedback Directions: Observer Worksheet - Use the spaces below to record your feedback while observing the practice session containing one feedback situation when the employee did not met the performance expectation. What is the gap? Why is it important? (Did the practicing supervisor clearly describe the impact?) How the behavior or action should change? Did they ask the employee for suggestions, thoughts or ideas? Check for understanding / other suggestions? Was the feedback? Based on the agreed upon performance expectation Specific Simple Relevant Page 23

23 The EPA Performance Cycle
Explain: You will have multiple opportunities to impact the way your employees handle “Challenging Situations”, from modeling the process with our internal and external customers (who ever they may be) and with situations you encounter with employees to the direct coaching you give to employees with the situations they handle. Refer: On Page 26 you will see the “Handling the Resistance to Feedback” model. Say: Let’s break this down and see how easy and helpful this will be when you encounter an employee who “pushes back” when you deliver feedback. Display: 1) Understand – as we discussed earlier, we sometimes miss something important that the employee is trying to convey. To clarify and make sure you are receiving the complete message you will want to: (a) Use your active listening skills. Don’t miss the unspoken words. (b) Ask open ended questions (c) Confirm – make sure you clarify or summarize what you hear. 2) Help – make sure you are willing and able to assist the employee in the areas you have identified for improvement. I.e., answer questions, give guidance, etc. 3) Check - for understanding. Make sure that there is a clear direction for the employee to follow, and the expectation for change is clear. Handling Resistance to Feedback Page 26 Understand Help Check Confirm Question Listen "I understand that you may be ..." Let the employee know that you want to see them succeed! Check for understanding...

24 The EPA Performance Cycle
Ask: Does this sound like a process that could help you to identify “why” someone is resisting feedback? Ask: What kinds of push-back statements do you usually hear from the employees? Solicit: Write responses on a flip chart. Ask for samples of “Push backs” that you might hear from employees. I.e., “no one ever told me that before, Mary gets away with doing that, your just picking on me, etc. Say: Let’s practice this step in the process. Would would like to volunteer their “constructive feedback” as I (The Facilitator) play the employee. Facilitators Note: Role Play “push backs” with participants. Stop them and help them use the “Handling Resistance to Feedback” model. Handling Resistance to Feedback Observer Feedback Worksheet What is the gap? Why is it important? How will you encourage the employee to change the behavior, their performance, or the way they handled a situation or issue? Check for understanding / other suggestions? Based on agreed upon performance expectation Specific Simple Relevant Page 27 Understand Help Check Confirm Question Listen

25 The EPA Performance Cycle
Recap: We have come all the way to the left side of our Coaching Cycle. So far we talked about “Clarifying Expectations,” “Observing,” “Analyzing Gaps,” and “Providing Feedback.” The next step in the cycle is “Documentation.” Ask: Who can give me some examples for reasons to document? Flip Chart: Capture all answers Display: Some of the major reasons for documenting are: Annual performance reviews Recognition Supervisor Changes Clear Understanding of events that have taken place Memories Progressive Discipline Say: It is important that we document events clearly and with as much detail as possible. Direct: Turn to Page 29 in your books. Here you will find two examples of documented events that were discovered in employee files. Ask: What do they tell you? Why Document? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Page 28

26 The EPA Performance Cycle
Ask: What information would be helpful to make these statements more meaningful to someone else who would need to refer to this information? Flip Chart: Capture responses (Time, date, reason, was this a good employee, would she/ he be eligible for rehire, any other information available.) Explain: Someone told me that there is one reason she is careful to document her conversations with her employees. She said, “ I never know if something will happen to me. Hey, I could get hit by a bus.” It sounds morbid… but think about it, you just never know! Anyone following in your footsteps will have a clear understanding of what actually took place, and the commitments that have been made between you and your employees. Say: This leads us to the top of the cycle, “Performance Expectations Review.” Sitting down with your employees to discuss the great things they have been able to accomplish over a years time should contain no surprises. Employees who are well informed, coached and praised often are anxious to set the stage for their next phase of development. As we have been discussing all along… Communication is the key to your and your employees continued success! You are the role model for those around you. When you set high standards for yourself and your team, when you follow through and give effective feedback, and you share information the Performance Expectations Review is time to celebrate and renew commitments. Documenting: What do the following statements tell you? How can you change them to be more specific? Mary quit. Anthony was late today. Page 29

27 The EPA Performance Cycle
Review Ask: What questions do you have about the coaching cycle? What comments do you have about this Coaching Cycle or how you will use this information? Say: The remaining pages in this section contain additional information that I hope you will find helpful as you practice your coaching skills. I hope that you find this a valuable tool for communicating with your employees. One of the most valuable resources you have to increasing your coaching skills is right here in this room. Each other! You should feel free to work through issues with each other, practice your coaching sessions on each other before delivering it to your employee. As they say, “practice makes perfect.” Display: The ancient Greek thinker, philosopher, scientist and writer, Aristotle, was one of the greatest minds in ancient times. He understood the important connection between being proficient technician and leader of men. He said “With regards to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it. Say: My hope is that you now have the technical tools to build a productive coaching relationship with your employees, and that you will use them to build your credibility as a leader here at the EPA. Office and team meetings are a great way to regularly reinforce the performance expectations that provide a professional, and consistent experience for our employees. We should not rely on office and team meeting alone to share information for skill building. Coaching is a daily part of your responsibilities. Some of the things you need to keep in mind: Model the skills and expectations you ask your employees to demonstrate. Clarify performance expectations with your employees for all elements they will be evaluated on: Communicate several ways to accomplish tasks. Ensure all employees understand the standards set by the group. Regularly emphasize key ideas and skills. Make customer satisfaction (internal or external) a high priority. Deliver fast and flawless service to all internal/external customers, partners, or constituents. This will help to build credibility for your department and your program. Build teamwork to create seamless service experiences for our customers and partners. Offer suggestions on how to improve the work flow of the department, and encourage your staff members to do the same. Remember: You play a crucial role in the success of our Agency and the satisfaction of our employees, internal customers, external customers, partners and constituents. By regularly modeling, coaching, and reinforcing what is expected, you set the expectations for your group. This is the key to creating an Agency that can meet and exceed the goals and expectations set by our partners, constituents and customers. Page 30

28 The EPA Performance Cycle
Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard and It’s work worth doing. Theodore Roosevelt Effective Coaching Introduction Coaching is the art of facilitation – the development, learning, and performance of another. Coaching your employees as they perform their jobs is one of your biggest responsibilities. Coaching involves finding the right balance between challenging your people to stretch and grow, and supporting them with tools, feedback, and help when they need it. The coaching skills you learned provide you with a simple, quick, and effective performance management process. Clarify Expectations and Expectations is the process you use to: Identify the ideal Expectation or Expectations. It sets the stage for excellence, what you want to observe and why. Communicate the ideal. When setting a new performance Expectation with employees. You communicate what Expectation you are looking for, why it’s important, how the Expectation or Expectation would ideally be demonstrated, and check to ensure the employee understands. Observe is the process you use to: Take note of actual quality of work delivery. Take note of actual consistency of work delivery. Analyze Gaps is the process you use to compare and contrast actual Expectations or Expectations with ideal Expectations and Expectations. You do this by asking: What is the difference between what I observed and what I hoped/need to observe? So what? What is the significance of the gap, positive or negative? Now what? What type of feedback do I need to give? Positive or constructive. Give Feedback is the process you use: Positive, when Expectations or Expectation observed meets/exceeds expectations. constructive, when Expectations or Expectation falls short of expectations. Page 31

29 The EPA Performance Cycle
Effective Coaching Focus on the Outcome by Focusing on the Employee The best coaches are aware of the importance of empowering their employees to get the job done to meet established expectations and accomplishing their goals and objectives while expanding their competencies. They focus the “lenses” of their work unit’s direction. These coaches stay in touch with their employees’ needs as well as the mission, vision and goals of their departments and the EPA. Empower Employees to Serve their Internal/External Customers, Partners or Constituents To meet the public needs, employees must use individual judgment. Great coaches build competence and confidence to take action on behalf of customers, partner or constituents. Coach Through Active Involvement The best coaches are visible and hands-on (yet not intrusive). They do not wait for their employees to come to them; they are actively involved in their group or team’s mission of excellence. They also seek direct contact with their customers, partners or constituents to understand their values and needs and to model the clarified expectations outlined for the group or team. Page 32

30 The EPA Performance Cycle
Coaching Objectives You probably find yourself focusing on two objectives as you coach: To build your employee’s skills and help them do a better job. To help them handle problem situations as well as create solutions for hidden dissatisfiers. Steps you can take for both types of coaching situations 1. When clarifying expectations, set an agreed upon foundation for excellence. Use the values and mission of the EPA as a basis of setting individual and group expectations. Doing it better, consistently, is what will make and keep the EPA a quality organization. When observing, focus on a particular expectation (“focus on a few”) in order to direct and refine your observation. Be clear on what you are actually observing. Watch your employees in action, ask them how they are doing, and when a misstep occurs, first get all the facts before taking action. When analyzing gaps, note what is happening as well as not happening. Look for opportunities to give motivational feedback. Before giving constructive feedback, analyze the situation to determine if there are skill deficiencies, motivational problems, interpersonal problems, support or system problems. Get to the root of the situation or problem. Separate situations in which there is a process or workflow beyond the employee’s control or influence – one that requires you to suggest or implement a system solution – from those in which individual feedback would be beneficial. Page 33

31 The EPA Performance Cycle
Giving Effective Feedback Giving effective feedback is your most powerful coaching tool. When your employee is performing well, feedback can increase his or her confidence and encourage him or her to continue at that level of performance. When an employee is not performing as well as you would like, constructive feedback can help the employee determine how to change and improve his or her performance, which can increase his or her feelings of competence. Remember, your employees cannot read your mind. You must give feedback often and well to create and sustain excellence in your work team. Not getting feedback is not an excuse for not giving feedback. Guidelines for Providing Effective Feedback Make your feedback specific and clear. Make sure the employee understands what needs to be changed, to what degree, or what was effective. For example, saying “Great job, Frank,” is not as effective as “Frank, you really came through for the department with the information you gathered for the month report. I think your patience and attention to detail enabled us to deliver a quality product to the Administrator.” Ensure your feedback is factual vs. judgmental. Avoid feedback overload. When giving feedback, concentrate on one thing at a time and make it simple and direct. Feedback that covers too many performance areas tends to overwhelm the employee and blurs the message you are trying to communicate. Separate positive feedback from constructive feedback. Page 34

32 The EPA Performance Cycle
Effective Feedback: Positive vs. Constructive Setting Positive feedback can be powerful when it is given publicly. Know your employees, not everyone is receptive to public praise. In some instances, private praise is appropriate and appreciated. Team meetings are a convenient forum for giving positive feedback, both to the group/team or individuals. Constructive feedback is most effective when given privately to help focus the person’s attention on the expectation or their behavior, rather than on his or her embarrassment or resentment. Timing Positive feedback is most effective when given as soon as possible after the performance. Constructive feedback is most effective when given right before the person is ready to perform again. Effect In situations in which it is not practical to split your feedback, it is very important to avoid linking positive feedback with constructive feedback. Pause between the positive and constructive feedback and involve the employee as you move from discussing his or her successes to discussing those areas he or she needs to improve. Do not underestimate the power of positive feedback. Most supervisors find they give little, if any, positive feedback to their employees. They assume their employees know what they did well. But even if an employee knows he or she has done a good job, it means much more to hear it from a supervisor or manager. In fact, if you tell an employee that he or she is good at something, the person is much more likely to focus on improving that skill than to be satisfied with his or her present level of performance. Make your constructive feedback future oriented. Employees cannot correct something that is history. They can work on improving that skill for the next interaction. Therefore, it is important to direct constructive feedback to a future expectation or performance opportunity. Page 35

33 The EPA Performance Cycle
My Team’s Performance and the EPA Mission How do I show my team that their performance has an effect on the EPA Mission? Put yourself in your employee’s shoes. When you are interacting with others day in and day out, your perspective can narrow; you forget the big picture. Here are some tips to keep the “Big Picture” alive: All victories and challenges can affect the mission. At team and office meetings and other off-the-job engagements, be sure to speak of the EPA mission and how the department can help achieve these goals. Discuss challenges. Be sure to align “small victories” with larger agency goals. Post a goals chart. Use posters and other visuals to keep team values and delivery expectations in the forefront. Many outcomes from team meetings and assignments can be posted; such as “success” stories and various skills/actions, hidden dissatisfiers found and fixed, and action plans. Communicate results of the strategy used to focus organizational and individual activities. Take responsibility for making sure your team stays informed about the collective results of their work. Actively seek out “success stories” from other teams/departments or the Agency as a whole. Reinforce messages about results that are communicated in other ways such as group s, group phone messages or newsletters. Help your team make specific links between their application of skills and results that are achieved. Page 36

34 The EPA Performance Cycle
Tips for Coaching Challenging Situations You will have multiple opportunities to impact the way your employees handle “Challenging Situations”, from modeling the process with colleagues and with situations you encounter with employees to the direct coaching you give to employees with the situations they handle. Here are some specific things you can do to make these opportunities: Have group/team members share their solutions to challenging situations so they can learn from each other, rather than having to face and learn from the situation(s) themselves. Establish a non-blaming climate so that your people feel free to discuss their needs and seek your help or help from other team members. Encourage employees to be helpful, since it can defuse anger and creates team focused relationships. Help your employees understand that customers, partner or constituents have a right to be treated in a professional manner. Explain that listening to others before providing information will help them understand exactly what their needs are. Do not be afraid to ask questions and offer suggestions when appropriate. Encourage them to provide information and options before discussing what they cannot do. When your employees complete a task or project, be sure to have them check for satisfaction. If others are not satisfied, empower your employees to search for alternatives and options for improving their product. Help them understand what they can and cannot do, and coach them in communicating these limitations to customers, partner or constituents in a way that is professional, positive and customer focused. Page 37

35 The EPA Performance Cycle
Coaching Tips for Successful Teaming Teaming is a process you should encourage to create additional value for customers, partner or constituents through the cooperative efforts of employees. When clarifying Expectations and conducting observations, pay particular attention to what happens when an employee refers their customer to another area or department for information. Often, job descriptions and Expectations are specific to each functional role, but do not clarify team-based actions that would further enhance the customer, partner or constituent’s experience. An example include taking care of a customers needs throughout a process, rather than just in their area of expertise. Here are some specific things you can do to build teamwork: Ensure that systems and policies encourage employees to collaborate rather than compete. Encourage employees to pay special attention to situations where they hand off customers, partner or constituents to other employees or departments for assistance. Model collaborative processes in your work approach. Avoid playing one employee or function against another. Observe for gaps between job functions that work against creating a seamless experience for those that effected by the departments contributions. Encourage teaming expectations and behaviors in team activities, such as meetings and assignments. Facilitate planning and doing of team activities in a way that builds team focus and spirit. Encourage employees to treat each other as internal customers or partners. Encourage employees to listen to each other and confirm what they have heard. Do not be afraid to ask each other questions to clarify statements or comments. Promote team learning by encouraging employees to question processes. Model the behavior and expectations your wish to see among team members, not just with people outside your work area. Insist that team members check with each other to ensure that what they are doing and how they are doing it is supportive and helpful to their co-workers. Page 38

36 The EPA Performance Cycle
Setting Climate “Climate” means all the factors that influence a learning environment, such as team meetings. Many factors are physical, such as heat, light, ventilation, and noise levels. Other factors include people’s comfort with expressing their ideas, the group’s acceptance of ideas, level of stimulation, and pace. Setting a good climate for your team meetings can dramatically increase your employees’ ability to learn and enhance their job satisfaction, with both impact customer satisfaction. A good climate can be planned by knowing your group, and nurtured by good coaching Expectation. Remember that once a good climate is set, it must be maintained. Actions that will help set a good climate include: Having a good knowledge of the jobs, Responding quickly to employees’ reactions Issues, and areas of interest of group being quick to analyze, quick to observe, members. quick to think – and always being a step or two ahead of the group.  Speaking the language of the group and using expressions most commonly used by Being tactful and patient at all times but firm the group. when necessary. Being interested in employees and being Understand how people learn. sympathetic and understanding. Being able to learn by experience and being Stimulating team members to do their own interested in improving as a leader and thinking and to express their own ideas Coach. Asking questions that are thought-provoking Striving to develop a coaching manner that and that require more than a yes or no appeals, attracts, and wins confidence and answer. Have a good sense of humor. Actions that will hinder setting a good climate include:  Trying to dominate the thinking of Talking too much. employees; however subtly – they always feel its.  Trying to be too funny.  Restating an employee’s response so it  Setting yourself up as an absolute authority matched your point of view.. Or expert. Telling a member of the group that he or she Letting anyone monopolize the discussion.. is wrong; let the group make that decision.. Including yourself.  Asking leading questions, saying, “Don’t you Running overtime; start and stop on time. think..?” instead of “What would happen if…?” or “What has been your experience?”  Forgetting to test the group members’ understanding, the discussion’s relevance,  Taking sides. And the helpfulness of what your are doing. Lecturing continuously; ask questions. Page 39

37 The EPA Performance Cycle
Clarifying Performance Expectations Specific - Observable - Behavior/Task-Oriented The EPA Performance Cycle WHAT you are looking for WHY the Performance Expectation is important HOW the Performance Expectation might be done / performed CHECK to make sure the employee understands the behavior/task and how they can use or practice it in their work. Observing Guidelines Have a reason Focus on a few Eliminate distractions Take notes on: Quality& Consistency Analyzing Performance Gaps What? Identify the differences between actual and target performance expectations. –Is the behavior/task better than expected? –Is behavior/task worse than expected? –Is behavior/task inconsistent? So What? Determine the gap and the impact on your internal and external customers, your co-workers and or the organization. Now What? Decide what needs to be done. Observe Document Provide Meaningful Feedback Annual Review Clarify Performance Expectations Analyze Gaps

38 Giving Constructive Feedback
Giving Constructive Feedback What is the gap? Why is it important? (Impact) How should the performance or behavior change? Check for understanding / other suggestions. Behavior Oriented Specific Simple Relevant Understand Help Check Confirm Question Listen Handling Resistance to Feedback Document Document positive and constructive feedback sessions for future reference Performance Appraisals Performance Review… Often Annual Performance Review… Timely with NO Surprises!


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