Do you find that your coaching sessions are more one-way in that you are doing all of the talking? Does it feel like the coaching isn’t working no matter how much time you spend with a particular employee? Next to hiring, coaching is the most important thing you will do in a given work week. Following this simple guideline will help you have more meaningful coaching sessions.
The purpose of coaching is to push someone harder than they would push themselves. Employees have hopes of achieving optimum performance and dreams of advancing their career. Coaching is where those hopes and dreams collide.
The best coaches guide people along the path by spending more time asking questions than they do giving answers. By coaching through questions, you are helping your employees improve performance, make better decisions, learn new skills and reach their career goals. Using this technique also helps gain buy-in to the solutions because they are deciding the what, how and when.
Do you want to be the coach that tells others what to do or the coach that helps people come up with their own solutions? To be a better coach use these questions in your coaching sessions.
What do you want to get out of this coaching session?
What goal do you want to work on? (Continue drilling down until it is a SMART goal.)
What is the ultimate outcome and what are the benefits of achieving this goal?
What steps have you taken towards meeting this goal?
What progress has been met towards this goal?
What has stopped you from achieving this goal so far?
Who do you know that has achieved this goal and what have you learned from them?
On a scale of 1 to 10 how serious/urgent is this goal?
What are your options?
What do you think you need to do to get a better result?
What has worked for you already and how could you do more of that?
How are you going to go about it?
How will you know when you have done it?
What obstacles could get in your way?
What small step could you take to get started?
When are you going to do that?
What three actions would make sense for you to take this week?
In an ideal world, a coaching session would follow a logistical flow, but the world of coaching isn’t ideal. Start weaving these questions into your coaching sessions to get you and your employee thinking differently about how coaching should work. Maximize your coaching sessions by ask more questions than you provide answers.