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February 7, 2023 | Dale Halm

Steps to More Effective Coaching

People committed to excellence do not hesitate to coach one another. They do it because they hold others in high regard and see it as a form of continuous improvement. To step up and coach someone means taking responsibility for the success of the enterprise or relationship.

How do you provide or accept coaching in a manner that actually makes a difference? Keeping the coaching process simple and on-track is vital. It is easy to make coaching more complex than needed or suddenly find yourself in a conversation that's misguided.

To provide effective coaching to someone follow these guidelines.

  1. Initiate the coaching process. In a sincere manner say, "I'd like to point something out, are you ok with that?" Most people are willing to listen when you ask them a question like this. In a culture of excellence, it lets others know you have an important concern to share.
  2. Avoid storytelling, be brief. Describe the specific behavior you witnessed. Express your thoughts about what could be negatively impacting the situation. Give first-hand information based on your observations, not hearsay.
  3. Do not overload the receiver. Provide coaching on one specific behavior. Use "I" statements ("I noticed that"). Avoid saying "you need to," as using the pronoun "you" can be interpreted as a personal attack.
  4. Maintain objectivity by avoiding blame or jumping to conclusions. Ask the person you are coaching to share their views about what happened. This allows you to work together to discover ways to improve the situation.
  5. Thank the person for being receptive to your coaching. This modest step sets the stage for a mature and healthy relationship where coaching is viewed as a routine way of supporting others.

To accept coaching in an open and constructive manner here are five things you can do.

  1. Let others know you are “ok” with them offering to coach you.
  2. Don’t reject the input you receive. This is not the time to debate or try and persuade others that you’re right. Your role in this situation is to simply listen and not get defensive. Take in the feedback and reflect on it. Remember, people committed to excellence don’t overlook things − they remind one another to do their best.
  3. Ask clarifying questions to be sure you understand what is being said. Paraphrase what you heard.
  4. Sincerely consider the input and make any behavioral adjustments that are necessary.
  5. Thank the person for offering their feedback and willingness to provide coaching.

When you approach coaching using this simple discipline it serves as a potent tool where people are supporting one another to take their game to the next level.