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How to Coach an Employee For Your First Time

You have problems with one of your employees. You see her potential to do a great job but there is something in her attitude, her behaviour, her self-perceived limitations that is preventing her to progress and to get the best out of her.

You heard about coaching, the benefits that powerful coaching can bring in transforming people, personally and professionally. But you are not a coach.

Yet you would like to change the traditional approach you have taken when motivating, guiding, or challenging your employees for better performance.

How could you start coaching your employees?

For someone who would like to change his or her approach, and get closer to what a coaching conversation could be, I would recommend starting with the following steps:

1. Increase your level of Rapport.

Start talking about something else. Break the ice.

Relax any tension or un-comfortability.

May the person feel at ease.

2. Enrich the Context.

Tell what you intend to you

Explain that you are here to serve her, to support her

Check the time availability

Explain your expectations: if it’s only the first conversation of a long-time process you would like to offer, make it clear.

3. Be open and authentic.

Insist that you are not here as her manager, to tell her what to do, or to reprimand her.

Easier said than done, but you have to be genuine and authentic.

If there is no trust, there is no coaching.

Prompt her to ask any questions or doubts at any time.

4. Identify a future state.

What she want to achieve

What she wants to change

What is bothering her

Which issues she sees now

5. Share suggestions, comments, experiences, but refrain from

· Judging

· Giving advise

· Instructing what to do

Just remain genuinely, curious and supportive.

6. Create TOGETHER a road-map, action plan, commitment on how you both think she can get there.

7. Congratulate her for these steps, and schedule the next session.

Start simple, start small.

If you are careful of respecting these basic steps, your organization will make a dramatic shift towards commitment, engagement, and results.

What would prevent you, and your organization, to start practicing these basic steps in every manager-employee interaction?

What would help you to do it?


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