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7 Qualities of a Great OKR Coach and How To Find Them

7 Qualities of a Great OKR Coach and How To Find Them

If you have wondered whether you can become a better OKR coach and move away from directing and leading to allowing more accountability and ownership amongst teams, you’re in the right place. 

Or, as a business leader, if you are looking for a new business software service or gunning for growth, then you need to interview some OKR coaches before making a final decision. Many companies out there have started hiring/training OKR professionals for their growth and success. If you want to try and understand the role of an OKR coach better, here are some traits that they possess.

The best OKR coaches have a number of essential qualities that make them top-notch at helping you reach your goals. At Fitbots, we have been doing OKR coaching, OKR Certifications along with building great software for a while now. I wanted to share with you my 7 qualities of a great OKR coach and describe what sets them apart. If you're interested in learning more about the process and how to get started, then continue reading.

OKR Coaches Help Organizations From Real World Experiences

Coaches help organizations from real-world experiences. They could be as simple as asking a customer to constantly try new things and providing positive reinforcement for experimentation. OKR Coaches are not just coaches, but also provide learning and change management skills that can help an organization improve its operations – which is just a fancy way of saying that they're pretty good at problem-solving.

OKR Coaches Help Teams Establish Executable OKRs

When we’re building teams, OKRs are the center of any organization’s strategy. But who can successfully execute a well-defined OKR? The answer might surprise you. It's not an individual, not a team, not even the OKR coach – but in fact, the forces of all of them combined.

Coaches are responsible for helping teams learn and get the OKRs process right and avoid the common phenomenon where teams fall back on old ways of working with the organizational politics involved. Many managers prefer to be in charge of their own areas, which can make it difficult for teams to focus on OKRs. The people working in an organization are not always willing to cede control over certain areas because they want to maintain their status within the company. A good OKR Coach knows the secret to prevent teams from falling into this trap – by setting executable OKRs in the first quarter of implementation. It does not mean all OKRs are achieved at 100% but a few critical KRs demonstrate the power of alignment, focus, and team spirit. 

Remember, coaches cannot do the work, it's always your team.

OKR Coaches Solve the Core Problem of Alignment by Facilitating Dialogue

When it comes to addressing strategic alignment issues within an organization, there's no easy solution. In fact, many organizations struggle with this challenge for years because they don't know where to start. Instead of wasting time writing papers or discussing the problem with others at the water cooler, you can find an easier solution by getting an OKR Coach on your team!

The real problem with alignment is that it's really hard to find the right person to talk about it with. While it is easy to talk about what we want or need in a specific area, finding someone who is willing to engage in conversation can be difficult. And when you do manage to find someone willing to engage, you might not have anything close enough to what you're looking for.

Businesses are moving towards a more connected way of working, and to do that they need to focus on alignment. In fact, the healthiest companies are known for engaging in dialogue as opposed to one-way communication. This is how important it is: Companies with positive alignment have a 30% higher market valuation.

OKR Coaches Maintain Confidentiality

Coaches are expected to maintain confidentiality. However, this is one area that isn't always adhered to by coaches who work with OKRs. The reason they don't hold the information confidential is that they don't want to be exposed if they make a mistake themselves or are connected to a conflict of interest. Scrutinize this aspect deeply. 

A good coach will be able to bring in value between what people do and how it contributes to the larger picture. When employees are able to visualize how their day-to-day tasks connect and contribute to the larger critical goals of the organization, it invariably builds in a sense of pride, accountability, and ownership.

OKR Coaches Form Deep Relationships and Become a Private Sounding Board

In today's business world, it's hard to find someone who has their heart in the right place. There's a lot of fluff and nonsense that you hear, but it seems like no one wants to tell the truth.

A great way to find the right coach is by observing what and how they speak. If it remains direct and straightforward, be it in private or in public then you have found the right sounding board.

OKR Coaches Do Solve the Problem and Also Help Teams Reflect and Build Capability

While OKRs can certainly improve efficiency and effectiveness for a team, it's important to remember that standard numbers are just a starting point and not the end goal. What OKRs help measure is how you're spending your time — and what matters most. These are the questions teams deal with internally when they choose to implement OKR into their daily practice.

OKR coaches can help your teams solve their problems. They help you reflect, and then they help you build capability in your team by encouraging ideas and solutions. Yes, you need both!

OKR Coaches Know the Right Balance of Empathy and Stretch

You see, the key to success as an OKR Coach is in understanding the right balance of empathy and stretch. Having empathy for others helps you understand their problems and how your advice will help them improve. But, when it comes to stretching their thinking, it's important you don't over-empathize with teams. OKR Coaches know the right balance of empathy and stretch that helps teams to overcome their weaknesses and grow at a faster pace.

OKR Coaches and Certification at Fitbots:

At Fitbots OKRs, we help your organization build OKR execution capabilities with OKR Certification. If you do want to take up the hassle of hiring and managing a full-time OKR consultant, tap into our global network of OKR coaches to help you get OKRs right.

To learn more about OKR certifications, click here. Join our July 22 batch to learn some practical tips from our experts and confidently implement OKRs by leading growth and efficiency in your business.

If you are an OKR coach, click here to join our fast-growing community on OKRs.

About The Author

Kashi is the Co-founder and CTO of Fitbots. Kashi has coached over 700+ teams on OKRs with the focus on helping founders and teams achieve more with OKRs. His niche focuses on the future of work by bringing technology to life.

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