Changing behavior takes time


Sometimes we are told as arguments that as a leader one fears that the structure of Rolf's development plan and reflection would phase out the personal conversation. It is feared that Rolf would result in a digital chat instead of an open communication where you can have coaching conversations over the phone and teams in order to be able to answer questions and ball things together.

We're never going to stop communicating.

However, we must learn to distinguish between the ongoing conversation around daily problems versus what is actually about the development of the individual. I know from many years of my own experience that it is impossible for managers who are responsible for driving the development of several individuals at the same time to remember the development steps that are the result of coaching conversations. Neither the employee nor the manager will take these development steps to the next conversation without it being documented. These steps/activities that are found must be easily documented without time-consuming after-work and it must also be available to both parties.

It is difficult to find a pattern around how companies do this documentation today as everyone has their own ways. If they even do it at all. Often the documentation is not even available for the person to be developed and then the question comes up how to get them to take responsibility if it is you sitting on the documentation? Of course, you can make it available in a word file and save it to a database 38 clicks away.

If we go back to the individual development that initiated the reflection, there is a parameter in addition to the development of the individual that is often forgotten. How should the organization see the development if it is not documented? How do you collect the values that the individual's development was meant to deliver? Let's say another leader is going to take over, is he supposed to start over with his new boss?

Then this reflection thing, what's the difference between having good contact and communication with your boss versus reflecting in writing? Does one need to rule out the other?

Of course not! Contrary.

We have seen so many fantastic examples of leaders allowing their employees to reflect and subsequently receive feedback from their manager leading to strengthened, concrete and more effective personal conversations. You simply get closer with a smaller effort of time and who doesn't?

A big reason why it's hard to absorb is often time. It takes time to create change, but the question is what will it cost later on if we do not take that time now.