Leading a dynamic human resources function that helps create market differentiation is not easy when the administrative burden of the role scarcely leaves time for meaningful interaction with employees.
Fred Kohler, an HR Senior Director at global networking company Juniper Networks, says that since training as a Co-Active Coach® he's realized that it's not how long you spend with an individual, but how you show up in conversation that matters.
Fred turns to his Co-Active Coaching® skills to improve the impact of other processes, such as 360 degree feedback tools, because it helps him focus on employees as people rather than objects or units to be processed. “Yes," admits Fred, "it is important to establish the competencies people have and how to measure them, but the key is to deliver the feedback in a way which is compelling enough for them to want to get to the next level.”
Traditionally HR focuses on fixing people, minimizing risk, and managing performance, but Co-Active Coaching essentially asks “how can we focus on your strengths?” rather than “how can we fix you?” “How can we be more aspirational in framing achievement in terms of fulfillment -- rather than just creating a checklist of goals to be achieved?”
Often Fred is called upon by a manager who has identified a staffing problem that could result in a termination. “It's very tempting to fall into the old frame of people being flawed or lacking a skill, but the Co-Active Coaching model with its emphasis on everybody being naturally creative, resourceful and whole, helps to challenge this framework.” Even if the employee ultimately leaves the company, a coaching approach often opens up more possibilities for the individual and the organization.
In an organization with thousands of employees like Juniper Networks, it's not feasible or cost effective for everyone to be individually coached. Yet by focusing on influential employees whose roles touch the most people, Fred believes you can begin to create a culture of coaching that elicits the talent of everyone.
These days Fred finds it very exciting to nurture a coaching work culture. However to sell the idea of a coaching culture across an entire organization, he will need to first show the success of the idea with individuals. “As a fundamentally radical process of personal transformation, coaching's ultimate potential lies in its ability to transform the organization itself, rather than just the individuals.”
Fred Kohler, HR Senior Director at Juniper Networks
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