Help me help you

Shout out to Jerry Maguire for one of the most memorable lines in movie history. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.

There’s a lot of talk about people quitting managers not jobs and incapable and/or incompetent managers and coaches not being able to advocate for their people. And all of that is really important.

What we should spend a bit more time talking about is what coachees / staff can do to help people help them. You know, in the spirit of controlling what you can control.

Here are the three things this entails:

  1. Tell them what you need
  2. Tell them when you’re not getting what you need
  3. Reassure the person you’re talking to that you’re not just open to feedback but you’re craving it

If you do these 3 things and meet resistance, then you should do what you can to find someone else to support you in addressing these 3 things. (Sidenote: a fun thing about the consulting world is you typically have a manager and a formal career coach, and can potentially change both if things aren’t going how they should.)

The flip side of this is when you’re coaching people you need to address the same bullets. I know people need to drive their own careers and all that but the truth is so a lot of people don’t know how, even when they have several years of experience. Or they’re afraid to have a conversation because of some backlash, which is a fair concern. (Another sidenote: this concern still applies in consulting despite the previous sidenote.)

I was talking about this with a friend about this last week and he brought up a point if how it’s in the best interest for the coach to be open to constructive feedback too.

Because guess what happens when you’re not a good coach… word gets around, and that’s not good for your brand.

Back to being coachable… when initiating one of these conversations as a coachee, the nature of the result all comes down to packaging of the message and not the content.

Framing your conversation as one of trust and respect goes a long way. Keep it as factual as possible (instead of emotional). If you’re worried, though, test your message on a friend or a trusted colleague/mentor.

And if that doesn’t work try HR. It may not be perfect but it’s definitely better than doing nothing.

Or hire someone who’s been there before to coach you through it.

I’ll tell you this – suffering silently is a sucker move and makes things linger way longer than they should.

It depends on how much it’s worth to you to resolve your situation.

Need more food thought? You can buy this e-book to learn more and put it on your kindle, ibooks, etc.