I was recently approached by a company who wanted me to coach an employee who was struggling. Not just an employee who needed a bit of help but one who was often thought of as the weakest link: The one they’d been making excuses for for a long time because they didn’t have the heart to fire her.
After a series of question it was clear that the company would see better results and experience more bang for their buck if I was coaching the employee’s manager. Coaching the weakest link, even if it’s overwhelmingly successful, will only impact a small few. This company needed to form coaching relationships where the managers were being coached so that what they learned could impact dozens. Often times managers are overlooked as needing coaching but having a coach to help them talk through topics such as how to manage difficult employees, how to juggle an overwhelming load of work, and how to build engaged teams can be really helpful and have far reaching results.
Just remember, coaching the weakest link usually isn’t the best use of your time. Coaching the people who have a bigger across-the-board impact is.