Tips for effective coaching conversations

Coaching Tips to Strengthen Effective Behavior:

  • Recount the successful behavior, in detail and its outcomes and impacts.
  • Use specific examples and elements that contribute to a successful result.
  • Help the employee to identify the root causes for this successful behavior.
  • Brainstorm with the employee about benefits/ways the behavior can be replicated in the other circumstances.
  • Express your confidence in the employee’s ability to continue to demonstrate it.
  • Document notes of this discussion.
  • Observe and praise repeated demonstration of the successful behavior.

Coaching Tips to Address Poor Performance:

  • Focus on one specific behavior considered to be poor performance.
  • Describe one thing the employee could do differently to achieve greater success. Caution: discussing only the cause in detail won’t create different results.
  • Describe the benefits of the desired behavior and your confidence in the employee’s ability to demonstrate it.
  • Use specific examples, time frames and explain the impact it would have on others.
  • Listen carefully and be open to the employee’s perspective without judgment.
  • Help the employee identify how to master and apply the new desired behavior.
  • Draft a mutually agreeable development plan, if required.
  • Document key elements of the discussion.
  • Set dates for a follow up discussion.
  • Observe for and praise demonstration of the new desired behavior.

Coaching Tips to Follow-Up on Poor Performance

  • Gather sufficient evidence of demonstrated behavior and results: direct observation, specific work results, reports and records, feedback shared from others, including customers.
  • Review the initial discussion around poor performance. Praise any progress made by the employee in demonstrating the desired behavior as well as on the employee's development or performance improvement plan.
  • Engage the employee in discussions about why behavior improvements are insufficient, and look for a reason why.
  • Describe, in detail, the desired behavior and when/how it should be exhibited.
  • Discuss consequences of poor performance and agree on next steps.
  • Ensure that employees have all the support and resources they believe necessary to help them change their behavior; allocate as required.
  • Check-in frequently.
  • Set dates for improvement milestones and review on going.
  • Frequently communicate your confidence in the employees and your support of their development.