I received a call from Ahmad – a finance manager – asking for an urgent meeting. When I stepped into his office, Ahmad was furiously taking off his tie and rolling up the sleeves of his white shirt. He grabbed a tissue to clean his eyeglasses but ended up drying up few sweat drops off his forehead before he said anything to me.
“I need your help. I want to give a formal warning to an under-performing employee.” He jumped in without any introductions.
I answered with a smile: “I am not the right person for that… I am the good cop of HR!” but he was not very impressed.
“Then why did Mike suggest talking to you?” he asked with a confused look on his face.
My reply was simple: “Probably for coaching!” Remembering coaching Mike – his boss – few years ago.
After a short conversation on how coaching can help Ahmad transform his employee’s performance. I suggested that great leaders leverage accountability partners to better serve their teams. Ahmad acknowledged that he played a significant role in facilitating success for his team. He also agreed that if he truly wanted to help that specific employee, Ahmad must be held accountable for fulfilling his leadership.
Knowing his passion for wellness and athleticism, I used a sports analogy: “In the gym, when we work out alone there is a chance that we get tempted to compromise our workout routine. However, if we have a training partner counting our sit-up repetitions, we are more likely to complete each set fully.” Ahmad’s head nods encouraged me to continue “Similarly, a coach can support you lead your employees by simply holding you accountable.”
For three months, we started every coaching session with Accountability using the REVIEW model of the Brain-Based Coaching:
R: Reality check to continuously measure progress on each set action
E: Emotional regulation has a profound impact on in holding others accountable.
V: Validation and acknowledgement of efforts using positive reinforcement
I: Insights gathering to maximize the motivation for future progress
E: Expanding on learning gained from insights and applying it in other areas
W: What’s next is asked to continuously raise the bar
Few months later, Ahmad invited me to their annual dinner where his team was recognized for the successful execution of a global initiative that saved the company significant costs. That night was an inspiration for me when Ahmad whispered “The proud presenter on stage now, is the same employee I needed your help for earlier this year.”