Monthly Archives: May 2015

5 Lessons from coaching

gary tremolada coach manager leadership


Coaching is a valuable asset to an organisation and the question that organisations are asking is, What is  the value of a qualification? That is, if the organisation requires a certain skill set is it really worth completing a qualification or is it a better option to target the learning via coaching model and get faster results and create a competitive advantage rather than wading through a qualification to gain not only the base knowledge but the distinctions required to apply the knowledge to gain a result which will include time and error in the field.

Is coaching the answer? Some critical insights into formal coaching.

1. The person wants to want to be coached and therefore looking for a change. Coaching can only really have a positive effect if the person that is being coached is looking for a real change. Is the motivation a “moving towards” something or is the motivation a “moving away from”. That is,  moving toward certainty or moving away from uncertainly. The question will then be, which of the two will be the most sustainable.

A great example is people wanting to lose weight, which essentially is a behavioural change. Are they motivated to action because they hit a threshold point moving away from or are they working toward something moving towards. eg The doctor said I’ve got to lose weight or you won’t be around in the next 5 years compared to. I going to work towards a triathlon, moving towards. In a work context its the same, if I don’t do this, I may run the risk of being performance managed out of the business or if I do this there is potential for a promotion. The upshot as a coach you need to know the motivating factors. one will create a long sustainable change the other a short change. Both strategies a valid in different circumstances.

2. Its important to assess the personality so as that you may engage and get the best result in the shortest amount of time. It is sometimes valuable to use a multirater  tool which can uncover some hidden beliefs and values that can enable better more specific feedback. The use of 360 degree feedback models, Extended Disc, HBDI type tools etc. This could lead to having more authentic and meaningful conversations. After all you want better “cut through”.

3. Some behaviours can’t be dislodged or changed and therefore goes beyond the scope of coaching and is more of a performance management issue then a coaching issue.

4. Coaching and practice are synonymous. Great coaches provide space to practice the behaviours or strategies so there is at least some muscle memory of the behaviour or practice. This enable to broaden the behavioural flexibility into different scenarios and create a shifting in paradigm and application into other areas.

5. Accountability in the process of coaching is critical. Ultimately, coaching is about getting results and not having interesting conversations but translating those interesting conversations into results. Have I said it enough…”results”. The person being coached has to accept responsibility for the current and future state of the coaching outcomes.This will allow better transparent reporting and adjustments to get better outcomes.

Coaching is definitely a viable, time effective and cost effective approach to solving business challenges. A coach can help get over the barriers quicker rather than trying to work it out on your own. Ultimately, what’s “your” cost of learning? Whether you know it or not you’re paying.

Gary tremolada coach trainer and facilitator

Would you rather do a risk assessment or pay $340,000…

this is what an employer found out, the hard way unfortunately.

The Story
An employee working in a slaughter house was doing what slaughter employees do when the knife he had in his hand as he was butchering an animal move unexpectedly when hitting a bone and cutting the top of his left thumb and severing his extensor tendon.
The employee was not wearing any safety gear, like cut resistance gloves etc.
The employee claimed damages. He asserted that the employer breached its duty of care and the district court rejected the employers claim of contributory negligence. (Where a person who has suffered loss or damage was also negligent, their contributory negligence may reduce the amount of damages they are awarded.).

The duty of care breach was on 2 fronts, firstly no risk assessment was completed on the process and secondly because there was no risk assessment it was foreseeable that employees at some stage could in fact injure themselves.
The employer, after the injury made changes to the policy requiring all slaughter persons to wear cut resistant gloves. The Judge said,” it was the employer’s “responsibility and capacity to enforce obedience to the system”

The Lessons

If you have a policy, as a Frontline Manager you must enforce it. Use performance management strategies, education and training strategies. PS You must record your actions.
If the process or policy you have developed impedes the work, risks assess it and review it (don’t let team members just disregard the policy, be active in your approach). The courts are saying that there really is no excuse. Everyone is accountable in the system.

If you would like me to send you a basic risk assessment template inbox me and I’ll email it over.

Tompkins v Kemp Meats Pty Ltd [2013] QDC 184 (17 July 2013)

I pushed and shoved the driver

,I don’t know why he ended up in hospital with rib and facial injuries.

An employee weighing 100kg had an altercation with a 60kg employee which ended up in a hospital.

The Story

The employee who was driving a fork lift at work had his path blocked by a tanker. After repeatedly sounding his horn and swearing at the driver of the tanker. The tanker driver dismounted from the truck and was met by the 100kg forklift driver swearing and assaulted the tanker driver striking him in the face and ribs.

The Court heard that the forklift driver only pushed and shoved the driver. After the employer carried out an internal investigation it determined that the forklift driver would be terminated and tanker driver was banned from ever returning to any of the organisations work sites.

The employee claimed he was unfairly dismissed. Remember the filter that the FWA uses is

a. Was the dismissal Fair,

b. Was the dismissal Unjust in light of the events and

c. Was the dismissal Harsh given the history, events and outcome.

The commission found that the employee was not unfairly dismissed and his claim was rejected.

The commission highlighted that the evidence provided by the employee was questionable given the severity of the injuries the tanker driver sustained, when making the decision.

The commissioner in her ruling said that the forklift driver did have other options other than fighting and found that the response to the threat was disproportionate to the threat. Saying that that, “the worker’s actions weren’t reasonable or proportionate and that he didn’t act in self-defence.”

The Upshot

As a manager consider, what are the likely things that would occur in the workplace?, what parameters should be set? i.e. behavioural codes of practice, what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour? and of course how is it inducted and reviewed. Also, your investigation process and recommendation process comes under scrutiny. For those of you who have done the Diploma of Management. This was in your Dropbox.

Chapman v Lion-Dairy and Drinks Pty Ltd [2013] FWC 3436 (14 June 2013)

An employee found asleep

in the crib room gets dismissed and then wins his claim for unfair dismissal..

The Story

An employee who said that there was a safely concern with the machinery he was using. Instead of reporting it went to the crib room(lunch room) and waited until the shift was over.

On one occasion the employee just left work without letting the employer know that he  had gone.

The employer dismissed the employee for behaving contrary to the policy and procedures of the organisation. There were other issues that had occurred and this incident was when the final warning was given.

The commissioner did find that the employer unfairly dismissed the employee and award the employee $7,769 in compensation. It found that reinstatement was not possible because the employer employee relationship had been damaged.

The Commission heard the worker had been spoken to about his work performance previously, admitted he would occasionally “nod off” at work, and had received a final written warning following a collision at the worksite in early 2013.

It also heard the worker failed to mention the loader’s defective bucket in the pre-start safety book – writing instead that the loader was “okay to use” – which raised doubts about his claims.

The Upshot

Fair reasonable not harsh. I thought the termination was justified and warranted, from the commissioner point of view in the application of the FWA Act. I can see that it was not procedural in nature. That is the employer didn’t follow a process for the dismissal. So, the upshot, follow a process.

George Szentpaly v Basin Sands Logistics Pty Ltd [2013] FWC 4213 (16 October 2013)