Coaching Direct Reports

Coaching is a great way to support Direct Reports in terms of continuous learning and give a “lift” to their leadership.  It includes providing feedback on behaviours, content or process; and is done in a way that the person receiving it feels respected and has an understanding of a different way to do things, right out of the gate.

Here are five tips:

  1. Model it first – Think of an employee who is watching a video of your behaviour.  What they see, is what is now acceptable and normal.  If you’re going to coach it in others, model it first yourself. We call this the ViRTUS Video Test.
  2. Watch your delivery – Remember back to when you were provided with effective coaching about a particularly difficult topic.  It’s much easier to take in the feedback, when the person delivering is non-judgmental.
  3. Ask powerful questions – Questions open up new possibilities for how we think of the world.  Ask open-ended questions so the person discovers the answer on their own.
  4. Coach in private, as soon as possible – Provide coaching in a way that considers the receiver.  Effective coaching is done in a place or at a time that is comfortable for the person being coached, and as soon as possible after the actual situation.
  5. Build it into your culture – Provide coaching often – this way it’s a normal occurrence, and a part of your culture, and is welcomed rather than feared.  In addition, make it two-way so that mutual learning is the norm.

This guest post was written by Tana Heminsley, ViRTUS Mentor and Executive Coach.

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