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How to Conduct Effective Performance Coaching

Coaching is no longer reserved for executives only. With a push towards ongoing performance feedback, coaching is being incorporated into performance management programs for all employees.

Whether coaching a sports team or a workforce, a coach’s job is to bring out the best in their players or employees. A coach motivates, engages, unifies and develops their employees. But the truth is, most managers do not know how to coach people. Over 93% of managers say they need training on coaching – an astonishing number when you consider that the single most important managerial competency that separates highly effective managers from average ones is coaching.

In order to truly create a culture of feedback of coaching, you must take a proactive role in training managers on how to be effective coaches.

Here are 10 tips for empowering your managers with the skills to ensure their coaching is effective:

  1. Continuous

    As performance management trends move towards continuous feedback, to be effective, coaching should support this feedback. Coaching is designed to help employees take the feedback and turn it into changes that will push them towards success.

  2. Relevant

    Linking coaching efforts to the mission and vision mission and vision of the organization make it relevant and more motivating and engaging for employees. Employees want to know that their efforts are making a difference, tying the coaching guidance to the direction of the company will achieve this.

  3. Give Examples

    While maybe not X’s and O’s on a chalkboard, mapping out examples for employees will ensure effective coaching. Think of it as a roadmap to guide employees on their way.

  4. Discuss

    No one wants to be lectured. Coaching should be a conversation between the employee and the coach. Talk about the difficulties the employee faces and brainstorm together how to overcome those obstacles.

  5. Incorporate Development

    The Personnel Management Association found that “when training is combined with coaching, individuals increase their productivity by an average of 86%, compared to 22% with training alone.”

  6. Effective Listening

    A critical component of coaching is active listening. Ask questions and follow up concerns. Look at the employees’ body language to gauge their discomfort and where they can thrive.

  7. Take Ownership

    Don’t “blame” feedback on someone else. As the coach, own what you are telling employees

  8. Combine the Positive with the Negative

    Don’t only give feedback when it’s positive or only when it’s negative – coaching employees should include a mix of good feedback and opportunities to develop. If you only give one type of feedback, employees will begin to ignore the feedback you’re giving.

  9. Challenge Employees

    A coach’s responsibility doesn’t end with giving feedback. Employees need to be challenged. Set goals that are attainable, but stretch employees outside of their comfort zone.

  10. Empower

    Coaching should give employees the skills and confidence to act on their own. Managers and coaches shouldn’t “do” for employees, but rather guide and empower employees to do on their own. They may not succeed at first, but help them to grow from the experience.

Looking for more ways to build an exceptional workplace and create effective leaders? Check out this blog post: 7 Principles That Define Great Leadership.


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