Effective performance coaching starts with preparation. Follow five keys to success, and reinforce each action by following these seven steps...

Always Remember...

Maintain control of the conversation while still allowing your employee to feel included in the decision making process.
  • Avoid arguments
  • Emphasize that you want a mutually helpful atmosphere
  • Identify what motivates a person
  • Focus on the future, not the past
  • Express confidence in their ability to improve
  • Recognize when Employees are:
    • Defensive
    • Withdrawn
    • Angry
  • Empathize and Respond Appropriately
  • Identify when Employees Agree, but only Superficially
  • Explore Employee’s Reservations and Make Them Feel Included
  • Focus Coaching on Behaviors that are Observed and Documented
  • Reduce Defensiveness by Sticking to the Facts
  • Use Positive Body Language
  • Express Empathy
  • Summarize the Situation
  • Offer Feedback
  • Paraphrase the Employee's Responses
  • Check in on the Employee's Perceptions
  • Practice Reflective Language
  • Set the Pace and Direction of the Conversation
  • Avoid Tangents or Excessive Chit-Chat
  • Keep Your Cool
  • Control the Conversation without Being Controlling
  • Arrange the room
  • Welcome the employee and thank them for coming
  • Sit across from you employee to promote open dialogue
  • Identify purpose of the conversation
  • Explain your expectations
  • Probe to find out what the employee likes about their current role
  • Learn which tasks the employee dislikes
  • Have a conversation about the employee's career aspirations and personal goals
  • Ask questions about the employee's motivation
  • Compliment the employee on specific action
  • State why the action was good
  • Ask a question
  • Review strengths
  • Discuss areas of improvement
  • Identify gaps
  • Brainstorm ways to improve
  • Stay Patient: the root of substandard performance will not always be obvious
  • Use Reflective Questions
  • Help Employees Identify the Source Themselves
  • Specific: Create specific goals
  • Measurable: Discuss how you will measure improvement
  • Achievable: Decide which behaviors need to change and make sure those changes can be obtained
  • Results-Focused: Formulate a reasonable plan to reach that goal. If necessary, set smaller goals that will help your employees
  • Time-Bound: Set a date to evaluate improvement
  • Summarize discussion
  • Restate plan of action
  • Review deadlines for improvement
  • Ask if the employee has any questions or concerns
  • Emphasize your commitment to working with the employee
  • Set a follow-up meeting