Why coaches need to prepare NOW for something that WILL happen in 2021

Although there are no guarantees in life, one thing I’m certain will happen in 2021 is you will be faced with some tough coaching discussions around working habits.

For much of last year many of us have been working from home and there are pluses and minuses to this approach – no commuting vs blurred lines between what is home time and what is work time; having peace to get more stuff done vs spending too long on something when a quick question to a colleague sitting next to you would have kept you on track.

Many businesses I’ve spoken to feel that in 2021 there will be a hybrid approach of home and office working.  But how do we know we’re getting the balance right?  And how can we accommodate all the different preferences individuals might have?  These will be tough conversations and to help you prepare I think it’s useful to focus your discussions on PERFORMANCE rather than PREFERENCE.

So instead of asking what people prefer, ask about how different ways of working impact on individual and team performance.  Follow up by asking where they think performance issues could arise – usually communication within and between teams, and their thoughts on the best ways of working to mitigate against these issues.

If you’re struggling to agree an approach, it’s probably better not to push back too hard and go with their option. But do keep ways of working on the agenda for your regular coaching conversations and address any ways performance might be suffering as you go.

People will want to feel you are supportive of their unique circumstances but remember if you pay someone to PERFORM in their role, you have every right to keep finding ways of working that benefit EVERYONE on the agenda!

Enjoy the conversations and very best wishes for 2021.

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