Visual Management as a Coaching Opportunity | Operational Excellence Quick Hits

Quick Hits share weekly tips and techniques on topics related to Operational Excellence. This week’s theme relates to Organizational Performance Part 13: Employee Coaching. We hope you enjoy the information presented!

, Visual Management as a Coaching Opportunity | Operational Excellence Quick Hits, Future State Engineering
, Visual Management as a Coaching Opportunity | Operational Excellence Quick Hits, Future State Engineering

Speaker 1: (00:07)
In last week’s session, we talked about incorporating visual management as an important tool of sustaining operational excellence. Part of the discussion, we had a poll last week in LinkedIn that talked about what’s the best use of visual management. From the poll, a lot of people responded, and the number one vote-getter was to identify process abnormalities. So, yes, we want to be able to use visual management to identify process abnormalities. But more importantly, we need to correct those abnormalities.

Speaker 1: (00:41)
We need to understand why those abnormalities are happening. It’s typically because the people in the process aren’t operating according to the rules. And if they’re not following the rules, then we need to be able to use that as a coaching opportunity to coach them why it’s important to follow the rules. There was some type of breakdown in the process that caused the process to go out of the normal limits. It’s great we have the visual management in place to see that, so we can see the problems. If we can see the problems, then we can correct them. But more importantly is being able to coach those people to understand what are the abnormalities, and why they’re occurring.

Speaker 1: (01:25)
When we look at that, we want to use the Socratic method. So, it’s a perfect opportunity when we see that process abnormality to have a discussion with the employee, and to understand why that abnormality is happening. So, what is the Socratic method? The Socratic method is a form of cooperative argument dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and achieve buy-in to change.

Speaker 1: (01:55)
First of all, you never want to tell the person that you’re speaking with that they’re wrong and don’t know what they’re talking about. You want to shut down a conversation? That’s the best way to do it. Next is: they believe that they’re right, and they don’t understand that they may be using a false assumption. So, a Socratic method is to have that discussion to understand: what is their false assumption, and what behavior is that driving that cause the process to be abnormal?

Speaker 1: (02:23)
Once we can understand that, then we can recalibrate their thinking to get them to understand why it’s important to follow the rules. And if they follow the rules, then the process should operate as normal. This is a great technique to address abnormalities, and get the employee’s behavior modified to follow the rules. When we follow the rules, then we get the correct behaviors. We get the correct behaviors, and we get great results from our system.