The primary goals of coaching are to develop skills in employees while simultaneously building the employee’s capability to self-assess and work independently. Coaching is used when the employee is willing and has some capability for figuring things out. In other words, you would NOT use the coaching technique in a corrective action situation (someone coming in late from lunch) or in a training situation (when the person simply doesn’t know the answer).
It’s unfortunate, but we often overlook the 80% of our employees who are performing well day in and day out to put out fires or address other more urgent issues. Over time, this can be damaging to morale and performance. Coaching is a technique to work with those overlooked 80%.
In coaching, the first step is for you to meet with the employee to determine what job-related skill the employee would like to develop. This could take place in a regular one-on-one meeting.
Continue the discussion by asking the employee to identify one — maybe two — things the employee might do differently over the next week or so to improve this particular skill. Offer your support — or the support of other team members if appropriate — to help the employee.
Remember to support and build when the employee accurately self-assesses. “I agree. I think that if you were to do X and Y, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.” A primary goal of coaching is to encourage the employee to self-assess; by supporting and building their accurate self-assessment, we are building that important self-assessment muscle.
Then set up a follow-up coaching conversation with the employee. “Let’s get together in a week — say Friday at 2:30. We’ll discuss how what you’ve tried has worked and maybe discuss what you might do differently to make things even better.”
And finally, use words of encouragement indicating that you have confidence in the employee’s ability to focus on and increase the performance levels in this area of . “Beth, you’re one of the most capable people on the team and I know by focusing on the one area, you’re going to get even better.”
Your assignment is to meet with at least one of your employees to have this discussion and to set up the next coaching meeting. Choose employees who you know will be receptive and willing.
For more than 25 years, Entelechy has been providing customized learning solutions for Fortune 500 companies, impacting hundreds of thousands of leaders. Entelechy’s proven leadership development programs drive productivity, morale, customer experience, employee engagement, and innovation. Sign up for Entelechy’s weekly Leadership Minute emails here: http://info.unlockit.com/newsletter.