Great coaches understand that communication is an art, a science, and most importantly, a two-way street. The heart of this dialogue often revolves around feedback, the essential ingredient that can propel your clients' growth and set them on the path to success. If you're a coach in Dubai, or anywhere else in the world, honing your feedback skills can significantly impact your clients' career progress and the results they achieve.
A study conducted by Zenger and Folkman showed that leaders who ranked in the top 10% for giving effective feedback had team members who were three times more engaged. These teams also had a 40% lower turnover rate. It's clear that effective feedback is a powerful tool for leadership development, but how can we, as career or leadership coaches, use this knowledge to our benefit?
The Case Study: Enter John, the Career Coach
To better understand the role feedback plays in coaching, let's dive into a real-life case study featuring John, an affordable career coach based in Dubai. John used a scientifically tested method, the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) feedback model, which is recommended by the Center for Creative Leadership.
John had a client named Sarah who was looking for a career shift. Sarah was finding it difficult to excel in her career due to her inability to make key decisions quickly. She had all the relevant skills and competencies but struggled when it came to decision-making. John decided to use the SBI model to provide Sarah with actionable, specific feedback.
Situation – John first described the situation where Sarah's issue was evident. This was during a mock job interview that they conducted.
Behavior – John then mentioned the behavior he observed, which was Sarah's hesitation in answering questions that required swift decision-making.
Impact – Finally, John discussed the impact of this behavior. He explained how this hesitation might affect her chances during a real job interview or her performance on the job if she gets hired.
With John's effective feedback, Sarah understood the root of her problem. She was able to work on this specific issue, leading to significant improvements in her job interviews and applications. John's strategic feedback played a pivotal role in Sarah's career progress.
Putting It Into Action: Your Turn
Applying the SBI model in your coaching process can boost your clients' self-awareness, bringing clarity to their situation. Here's how you can use it:
Identify the Situation: Set the context for the feedback. Describe the specific instance in which you noticed the behavior.
State the Behavior: Define the observed behavior in neutral, factual terms. It's crucial to focus on what was said or done rather than making interpretations or judgments.
Describe the Impact: Explain how the behavior affected you, the team, or the project.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can." As coaches, you play this pivotal role, and the SBI model can significantly enhance your feedback process.
The Science of Feedback in Coaching
Feedback is not just about what you say; it's also about how and when you say it. Neuroscience research has shown that feedback can trigger a 'fight or flight' response, causing people to become defensive and less open to change. To avoid this, consider your timing and delivery. Make sure you're giving feedback in a safe environment and frame it in a way that the recipient sees it as helpful, not threatening.
Harnessing Feedback for Leadership Coaching
Leadership coaching focuses on helping leaders grow by developing key skills, such as decision making, strategic thinking, and people management. Feedback is integral to this process. As a leadership coach, you're not just there to impart knowledge, but to help leaders develop self-awareness, introspect, and grow.
As Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Through consistent, constructive feedback, you can help your clients develop habits that lead to excellence, whether it's excelling in their career or getting promoted.
Wrapping it Up: Feedback is a Coach’s Best Friend
From a life coach to a career coach, from leadership development to job application success, effective feedback is the key. When combined with methods like the SBI model, it becomes a potent tool that can unlock your clients' potential, helping them to define their career path, and achieve their vision.
Remember, as coaches, we're not here to tell our clients what to do. We're here to guide them, to provide them with the tools they need to make their own decisions, to support them in their journey towards self-awareness, and ultimately, help them to excel in their career or life.
And, as this journey is unique for every individual, our feedback must be too. Tailoring feedback to our clients' unique needs and circumstances will not only make it more effective but will also show our clients that we genuinely care about their growth and success.
Whether you're an affordable coach in Dubai or a career coach in New York, let's embrace the power of effective feedback and make it our secret weapon to help our clients grow, flourish, and succeed.
Zenger, J., & Folkman, J. (2014). Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2014/01/your-employees-want-the-negative-feedback-you-hate-to-give
Center for Creative Leadership. (2021). Situation-Behavior-Impact Feedback Tool. Retrieved from https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/hr-pipeline-developing-the-5-percent/
Rock, D. (2008). SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others. NeuroLeadership Journal. Retrieved from https://www.your-brain-at-work.com/files/NLJ_SCARFUS.pdf