The Coaching Magic Matrix

Feb 11, 2022

I’m ready to introduce the Coaching Magic Matrix to you in this blog post! I designed this Matrix after years of coaching (and being coached), and if you follow the steps to identify your place in this Matrix and how you might improve (hint: the goal is The Coach Approach!), your coaching will become next level!

In this model, we’ll focus on how we coach direct reports, but remember, this can apply to all types of coaching: kids, vendors, trade partners, third party vendors, peers and even clients! 

The way you are thinking tends to influence the way you act or what approach you take. So, let’s start with two ways of thinking.

Short-term or Long-term Thinking

Short-term thinking about your people sounds like this: 

  • I want my employees to be happy working here.
  • I like it when they refer their friends.
  • I want them to have fun and be excited to come to work every day! 
  • It’s faster to do it myself rather than teach her to do it.
  • This new issue that came up today needs to be solved right now.
  • I don’t want to hurt their feelings.
  • I’m afraid they might quit if I put too much pressure on them.

Long-term thinking about your people sounds like this: 

  • I want my people to flourish.
  • I want them to have rich experiences while working here that will deepen their purpose and enrich their entire lives.
  • I want my people to feel challenged; it will make them stronger.
  • I want them to have success and failure opportunities. 
  • I really want my people to grow, love growing and be deeply invested in helping our clients and each other grow as well.

The second concept that is a key ingredient in your coaching approach is how you think about your employees’ abilities and potential. Do you think about them from a deficit- or a possibility-based perspective?

Deficit- or Possibility-based Thinking

A deficit thinker sounds like this: 

  • Well, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! 
  • It’s easier to do it myself than to teach her how to do it. 
  • It takes a long time for people to be productive and really contribute. 
  • I must be on that client account; they won’t work with anyone but me. 
  • I’m afraid that no one will ever be able to replace me.

A possibility thinker sounds like this: 

  • I wonder what ideas our new people have for solving this problem.
  • Let’s get Susan into a peer group to help her grow. 
  • Who else could teach this class? 
  • We have so much talent in our company. Who needs more responsibility? 
  • Who can I spend time with to encourage them?

We are now set up to examine what happens when you combine these two spectrums of thinking, or mindsets. Keep in mind the lessons we learned about using a mental model to teach and how it helps people think about their thinking as well as individualize the teaching to their own lives. This is not meant to put a forever label on someone, just to observe the world from a new or bigger perspective. In the next blog post, we’ll talk about each approach in more detail! For now, examine the Matrix and think about where you are . . . what can you do better?

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