Tips for effective coaching conversations

Coaching tips for strengthening 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 the benefits and ways that 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 for addressing 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 for following 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 progression made by the employee in demonstrating the new desired behavior as well as on the employee's development or performance improvement plan.
  • Engage the employee in discussions about why improvements in behavior 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 the 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 improvements milestones and review on going.
  • Frequently communicate your confidence in the employees and your support of their development.