Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms

Coaching and Credibility: Insights from Jamie Lewis Smith

December 01, 2023 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 4 Episode 192
Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms
Coaching and Credibility: Insights from Jamie Lewis Smith
Rebel Human Resources Podcast +
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready to revolutionize your management style and skyrocket employee engagement? Join us as we pick the brain of our esteemed guest, Jamie Lewis Smith, CEO of Pixel Leadership Group. Jamie brings a fresh perspective on the transformative power of coaching in organizations, highlighting how it’s a game-changer for organizations. We delve into the nitty-gritty of coaching versus mentoring, shedding light on how the term is often misused, and offer insights into making the process more comfortable and effective for all the HR professionals out there.

As we venture further, we turn the spotlight on performance management and its correlation with coaching. With Jamie leading the charge, we uncover how these practices can aid organizations in creating a thriving workplace. As an added bonus, Jamie lends us her expertise on gaining credibility as an external coach in an organization and the perks that come with it. Before we wind up, we remind you to get social with us on Facebook and Twitter and keep the conversation going on our website for more engaging content. Don't miss out on this enriching conversation with Jamie Lewis Smith!

Support the show

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work. Please connect to continue the conversation!

https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
http://www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Speaker 2:

This is the Rebel HR podcast, the podcast about all things innovation in the people's space. I'm Kyle Rode. Let's start the show.

Speaker 3:

Welcome back Rebel HR community, extremely excited to continue to be live at the Iowa State Shurm Conference. We are here with Jamie Lewis Smith, who will be speaking at this conference. We'll be talking all about leadership.

Speaker 4:

So, jamie, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.

Speaker 3:

So, jamie, tell us a little bit about what you do.

Speaker 4:

Ah, yes, so I am the CEO of Pixel Leadership Group, which is a firm of nerdy but fun executive coaches, data analysts, data geeks, I guess you know. We like to say and we help organizations to bridge the gap between science and the practice of leadership and, as a result, we have really great, thriving employees.

Speaker 3:

I love it. I love the descriptor nerdy, but fun.

Speaker 4:

I feel like that's a lot of nerdy. We're not sure we're fun. We hope we're fun.

Speaker 3:

Hey, you know sometimes it's aspirational right, you're awesome. Okay, we've got Patrick Moran with us too here.

Speaker 1:

Welcome, Patrick Kyle. And where are you guys out of?

Speaker 4:

We are based at. Well, we're actually a virtual first company, so our headquarters is outside of Cleveland, ohio, but we have coaches and consultants around the country. Awesome, great question.

Speaker 3:

So, jamie, you are going to be speaking today. Tell us about what your topic is and why that's a topic you focus on.

Speaker 4:

So I'm going to be talking about coaching, the great reset hack you need, and I am talking about that because I like to think of myself as a coaching evangelist I don't know. I want everybody to understand the power of coaching and why it is so important for organizations. It's one thing, one thing that if an organization can really embrace this, they can change everything. I feel so passionate about it. You can change your managers, you can change employee engagement, I mean. The list goes on.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. You know, I think coaching is one of those things that when I first started in the career a number of years ago it was kind of like a buzzword right, Like.

Speaker 1:

it's like make sure you're out there coaching, right yeah?

Speaker 3:

Kind of like talent became a big buzzword and we got rid of personnel and turned it into HR. But I think what's interesting is, over the years we've seen coaching become much more prominent and much less of a buzzword. So I'm curious as you look at coaching, what does that actually mean to you? How do you define coaching in an organization?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, that's a really good question, because what I find in my work with organizations is that coaching is often misused, right, it is oftentimes confused with mentoring. So a key differential between mentoring and coaching is that mentoring is when you use your own experiences, at your own kind of perspective, to give advice, whereas coaching is more of a process of one individual, the coach facilitating another person's thinking and problem solving and action process, right. So it's a very different things, but they're very easily confused. I also hear coaching often used, unfortunately, for when we are having difficult conversations or punitive conversations and those organizations. Then coaching is seen as a scary, terrible thing. I don't want to have a coaching conversation because that means I'm in trouble, right. So I'm very concerned when I hear that in an organization.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think it's fascinating because just using the term coaching for me it brings back the memories of my track coach who would like? Scream at me and be like I yell because I love you. Yes, you know, and it's like I don't know that we want that necessarily.

Speaker 1:

So that's my context. It does make sense, with coaching becoming like a negative connotation, like this relationship just relate to that, because I have to have a coaching session with my boss or we need to have a coaching session with our team. It's like, oh, what'd they do wrong? Right, what'd they screw up? Yeah. And it's like, how do we change that dynamic?

Speaker 4:

Absolutely. It's not a process that is about punishment whatsoever. It's about helping another individual to think, to explore, to come to new realizations, to help them to figure out what it's going to take for them personally to take action and to change whatever that means for them right, and so it's a very positive process. But unfortunately again, when we talk about coaching as a punitive thing, it's usually we're not talking about coaching at all. We just are using that to soften that difficult conversation.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's actually performance management right, Not coaching in that context. Right In a way, if we work towards aspectually a system of things like a logical reduction. The words that we use, especially in HR, really matter. So if you're using that word of your organization, it's a pretty big red flag, right.

Speaker 4:

Absolutely, Absolutely Again. I've run into too many organizations that have used that just as a way to soften difficult performance conversations.

Speaker 3:

I mean, it does sound better Like, instead of telling you that you screwed up, I'm quote coaching you to change your quote mindset when you screwed up?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely so for those of us, I think, in human resources, a lot of times we're supposed to be the experts in this right Like, like and a lot of times unfairly right Like. You know, I didn't go to school to figure out how to be a coach. You know, I figured it out by being a bad coach, and then you know modifying behavior. So for those of us that are struggling with this or maybe this is just something that's new or uncomfortable what are some things that we can do to make coaching a more comfortable process for human resources?

Speaker 4:

professionals. Yeah, so when it comes to coaching, the first thing is, in some ways coaching is awesome and that's because you don't really have to know anything. You just have to know how to listen and how to be present, right, I mean, it's a little bit more complicated than that, but as and that can be difficult though for many folks as they're trying to coach, they really want to get in there. They know, you know, especially when you're in HR, you know so much about the organization and the people it's really tempting to get in there and want to start advising and giving you know, direction or ideas. And really, when you're coaching, it's about letting that other person to explore, asking a lot of questions, being very present, listening deeply and challenging them to push them to think and to solve their own problems. And you know, again, I think for HR folks, the biggest challenge there I think they have all the skills it's putting aside what they already know about the organization and that kind of draw to want to get in there and solve the problem.

Speaker 3:

I'm just going to be honest right now. I feel like I'm getting coached right now. Thank you, jamie. You are very present and, like you're helping me to think about my mindset as I think about coach, this is like a really meta experience right now so nice work.

Speaker 1:

Nice work being present. How do you have organizations like? How do you gain the credibility as you come in from the outside? They know they have a problem, they know they need to fix it, but they don't know how they bring you in. How does that translate down to the employees?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, yeah. So I find that there's an advantage in some ways when you are external, when they're bringing you in because generally they've sought you out, because you have a reputation and you've, you know, proven your results in some ways. I think that it's somewhat more challenging when you're internal. Again, as HR, you're there to help and you really want oftentimes you want to help people to be more effective or you want to help them to grow, and yet there can be a not always the most positive reputation of HR in an organization right, we literally just talked about that with our last guest.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, how do you change that for folks in HR? How do you shift that to say I want to help you grow and I'm trying to help create a positive experience for you, right?

Speaker 3:

Well, it's funny because it evokes the image of the corporate raider that comes in and they're like I'm corporate and I'm here to help as they're writing your termination paper. But I do think it's one of those areas where, if we can get really good at it in human resources and model, the behavior that we need our leaders to adhere to or exhibit.

Speaker 3:

It can be a little bit of a game changer. So give me an example of an organization and you don't have to use names, for client anonymity. Yeah, but I'm curious. Give us an example of an organization that has that figured out has really embedded that within their culture and, ultimately, what has the result been?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I'll use a name. I don't think that they'll mind it, because they go out and they talk about it. I work with Cisco, the tech company, just to be clear, because there's a couple of Cisco's out there.

Speaker 2:

Not the singer of the 1990s hit the thong song, Just to be clear. Yeah, not that one.

Speaker 1:

I mean, maybe he's a good coach but he's not actively working with you.

Speaker 4:

Not that one, yeah, but they really haven't figured out. They offer coaching to pretty much every people. Leader in the organization and folks that aren't even in people leadership still can access it. They show that they value it by giving this resource to everybody. They are out there talking about it. Their leaders, their senior leaders, are championing it. They're talking about the value of it. They're doing it themselves. I think it's just been very much infused into their culture and so then you can see the ripple effects. Of course, they're very frequently one of the best places to work out there, and so forth.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely, and I think what's fascinating about that as a case study is they are in one of the well, quite frankly, the most competitive market as it relates to talent.

Speaker 1:

Yes, they are.

Speaker 3:

That is actually their competitive advantage, right. If they lose their talent, they don't have the ability to succeed 100%.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I mean they're in tech. Tech is a tough place to be in terms of talent.

Speaker 4:

Right now they are fighting over talent across all the big ones and but they are such a wonderful and that's what I hear. I've worked with more than 150 leaders. I think it is now at Cisco and 101. And, over and over again, it's the culture, it's the people, it's the care that the organization really cares about them and they invest in their people and they want to help people to grow and that makes all the difference in attracting and retaining. Yeah, folks are there forever. They'll be there for 10, 15, 20 years. That's not uncommon.

Speaker 3:

That is unheard of.

Speaker 4:

Unheard of in tech, completely unheard of in tech?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that's fascinating. But probably the bigger point there is every employer says that. Right Like this is the best place to work. We all love our people. We love our people, but what they've done is they've actually put in a system so that that actually happens through coaching, in order for them to be successful.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, yeah, they were intentional, they have been, and they've been doing this for years now, which, again, that's their seat. They're reaping the benefits, for sure, but they've been very intentional about this is what we need in order to To get the talent and to to compete, and they very much are reaping the benefits of that After number of years of doing it.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely, absolutely. So we are ending our time together. I'm curious to ask you what is the one or two key takeaways that you want people attending this conference listening to your session To walk away with?

Speaker 4:

I think that the one or two things. Well, number one your managers are the most powerful lever of change and culture in your organization and of the employee experience, and so, in order to Get the best for your employees and create the best outcomes for your organization, you need to focus on them. Focus on them, help them to grow. So that is two ways Give them the skills to be good coaches. And number two, give them coaching so that they can really amplify and accelerate they're skilled about coach, the coaches coach, the coaches.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know, allow them to do it. I love that time and yeah, absolutely performance management.

Speaker 4:

Right, yeah, that's definitely yes.

Speaker 3:

But thank you so much. Absolutely wonderful conversation and thank you for coming down to the conference.

Speaker 4:

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Speaker 2:

All right, that does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big Thank you to our guests. Follow us on facebook at rebel hr podcast, twitter at rebel hr guy, or see our website at rebel human resources dot com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel hr podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position Of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast.

Speaker 1:

Maybe,

The Power of Coaching in Organizations
Performance Management in Rebel HR Podcast