The Anatomy of Performance Enhancing Coaching Conversations
Don’t wait for poor performance to discuss high performance.
Make ‘getting better’ normal by scheduling bi-monthly coaching conversations.
The anatomy of performance enhancing coaching conversation:
(Consider this list a loose structure for a coaching conversation.)
- Ask, “What skills/behaviors are essential for success in your role as a manager?”
- Write down every behavior and skill your coachee comes up with. Don’t explore the items. When they say, “Communication.” You say, “Great. And what else?”
- Identify the 10 most important behaviors/skills on their list. Don’t worry about ranking them precisely.
- How would you rank your proficiency on these 10 behaviors/skills? Use a scale of 1 to 10.
- Don’t challenge their self-assessment unless it’s wildly inaccurate. The point of the exercise is improvement.
- Ask them to narrow the list to three items. Suppose they said they were an ‘8’ in communication.
- Explore their short list.
- What’s important about communication in your role as manager?
- What are you doing when you’re communicating as a manager?
- How do you want people to feel about themselves when you’re communicating with them?
- How do you want people to feel about you when you’re communicating with them?
- When are you most effective as a communicator?
- When communication doesn’t work well, what are you neglecting?
- Work to get better. Ask, “How might you move from an ‘8’ to a ‘9’ in communication? (Don’t worry that you think they’re a ‘7’ and they think they’re an ‘8’.
- List specific observable actionable behaviors.
- Role-play or explain the behaviors. Suppose they would be a better communicator if they removed distractions. What distractions should be removed?
- Make commitments. What will you do over the next two weeks to remove distractions?
- Set a follow up meeting to evaluate improvement and select another item from the short list.
Effective improvement is always self-development.
What structure/questions would you suggest for coaching employees to assess and improve their own performance?
What has helped you improve your own performance?