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As a leader, you’ll find yourself in many situations where you will need to coach your people.

Employees need to be coached when there are issues with their attitude or behavior, or there is a problem with their performance. If you want your coaching session to be successful, you need to approach it in a supportive manner. Your goal is to help the employee recognize their shortcomings but more importantly, decide to change and move forward.

Here are 6 steps to guide you through a productive and positive coaching session:

1. Identify Expectations

If you want to coach someone successfully, you need to be clear about why you are coaching them. Explain what you expect of their performance and behavior. Do you have short-term and long-term expectations for that person? But beyond your expectations, you need to understand what that person’s expectations for themselves are.

2. Define Impact

What drives people is what makes people want to perform better. People are motivated for different reasons, and chances are, they’re not driven by yours. You need to help them recognize how they will benefit from moving up to the next level of performance. Only when the person being coached appreciates how moving towards achieving business goals has a direct impact on them reaching their personal goals will they find a purpose.

3. Plan for Success

Co-create a plan with the people that you coach. When a person has had a hand in creating something, it’s less likely for them to deviate from it because they have a sense of responsibility to see it through. They feel invested in the project, whether it’s a plan to make adjustments in their attitude, correct behavior, or simply work better and harder.

When people are exasperated and close to giving up, you will often hear them say, “I didn’t sign up for this.” By creating a plan for success together, they can’t deny that they were a willing participant in the plan creation and approved the goals they knew to be smart and achievable.

4. Gain Commitment

If you notice there is resistance or hesitation to commit to the plan, then it’s a sign that you need to go back and reexamine the plan. Why are they are reluctant to commit to a plan that they helped create? Now is a good time to clear up any miscommunications. Help them take ownership and ask for their commitment once you have both made the necessary adjustments that you are mutually satisfied with.  

5. Follow Up

You have a responsibility to check in on things once the plan is in place. It’s not about breathing down their neck to ensure that they are following through with their commitment but rather, an opportunity for you to lend your support and encouragement. Offer feedback, if necessary.

6. Don’t Give Up

People can get distracted and lose focus. They may even start to feel demotivated and discouraged if things don’t go as planned. However, by giving up on them, they’ll likely give up on themselves. Be there to guide them and help them regain momentum.

If needed, go back to the previous steps to remind them of their expectations, how their performance impacts their motivators, their role in creating a smart plan, and the commitment they made to see it through.  

Do you feel you need more guidance on how to conduct a successful coaching session? We can help you overcome those challenges you are facing. We are passionate about helping organizations and individuals achieve effective and sustainable leadership through meaningful processes.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734