Coaching Skills for Performance Improvement

As a continuation of the previous blogs, this one focuses on coaching skills for performance improvement.  Completing coach training develops these skills for use in many roles in addition to those of a coach seeking coaching certification.

To simplify the example, C is the person who completed the coach training.  P is the person with whom they are talking.

The scenario: An employee (P) has been sent to HR (C) because they are not meeting performance criteria.

C: Hello P, how are you doing?
P: Not so good I guess if I am here.

C: What is your understanding of the reason you are here?
P: My boss is not happy.

C: Let’s figure this out together.  What is your understanding of what your boss wants?
P: Well, she wants me to submit my reports by the deadlines.  It is just that I have to get information from others to do it.

C: That makes sense.  What are your options for getting the information on time?
P: Well, I guess I can send a reminder a day before.  Maybe I can ask my boss to tell them they have to get it in.  Or I can let them know if it is not in I will use the status from the previous week with a note that no updates were provided.

C: Those are great ideas.  What else will it take for you to make your boss happy?
P: Well, she says I am too rude.

C: How can you change that so you are polite and respectful?
P: I guess I just have to think before I talk.

C: Good idea.  Let’s explore that thinking together.  What are examples of the rude language.
P: Um, well, I guess I kinda told someone they were stupid.

C: OK.  What else?
P: Well, I told someone if they didn’t turn their report in on time they were getting fired.

C: OK. what else?
P: That’s it.

C: OK.  What will you say instead in the future.future?
P: Um, maybe that if they have questions they can ask?

C: Great.  What else?
P: Ask why they aren’t submitting their report?

C: Excellent.  What else?
P: Maybe offer to help?

C: Wonderful.  Seems you have a great plan.  How do you feel about it?
P: Well, I guess that is how I want people to talk to me so it feels better.

C: Absolutely.  What will your boss think?
P: I guess he will be happy?

C: It seems you have done a good job of figuring out how to handle this.  When will you make this happen?
P: Right away.

C: Perfect.  Please send me an email outlining your plan by 2 today so we know it is handled.
P: OK.  Thanks.

In this conversation, instead of telling the HR person used coaching skills so that the employee essentially developed their own performance improvement plan plus committed to writing it up.  This increases the likelihood of follow-through and also supports employee ownership for addressing the concern.  Coaching questions and language along with the approach of a solution focus while empowering others works.

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