Thursday, July 3, 2008

Coaching to improve employee performance.

The next step after conducting a performance review is coaching - to enhance employee capability and to improve awareness and self-confidence. It compliments and reinforces traditional performance improvement programs by adding important interpersonal factors to the focus on tools, techniques and work processes. Effective coaching is built around participative interaction with an emphasis on measuring quantifiable results. Most employees want to know: "How am I doing? How do you/the company feel about me? How do you feel about the role I’m playing? How am I progressing in my career at the company?"
People live for that feedback. Good coaches are 'non-threatening artists of encouragement.’

The following questions can be used to guide an employee coaching session:

What's on your mind?
* How are things going?
* What are you currently working on?
* What are some of the highlights of your week/month you want us to talk about?
* What would you like to focus on today?

What have you tried since we last talked?
* What worked? What didn't work?
* What stands out in your mind about the (meeting, assignment, interaction, interview...)?
* What’s worked best for you in similar situations the past?
* What have you seen others do that might work for you in this situation?
* How would you want to behave if that situation happened again?
* What can you imagine yourself doing differently next time?

What are you thinking of doing next?
* What steps do you need to take to be successful at what you’re working on?
* How do you plan to accomplish this?
* What would need to happen first?
* What else has to happen around you to make this work?

What obstacles might you encounter?
* What’s the biggest challenge you’re likely to face?
* What excuses might you make that could hold you back?
* What might prevent your efforts from being successful?
* How do you plan to overcome these obstacles?

How will you get the support you need?
* Who do you need to support you?
* How do you plan to get that support?
* What will the benefit be to you and to others if you accomplish this?
* What will the cost be if you don't?
* How will you see yourself differently if you do this?
* How will you feel differently about yourself?
* How will you work with others to keep this level of interaction (or whatever else fits here) alive and thriving?

Successful coaching depends on mutual commitment, enthusiastic engagement, regular meetings (which are scheduled separately from other business events), a focus on action planning, and regular accountability for results.

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