Express Coaching™ for a Fast-Paced Business

Coaching is critical to business success. CMOE started researching the skills and behaviors of effective coaches nearly 40 years ago. Our systematic methods focus on the key behaviors of highly effective coaches and what works best in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Full-length coaching conversations are a great approach when time isn’t an issue. Formal coaching conversations allow you to have an in-depth dialogue, exchange ideas, brainstorm solutions, explore opportunities, and learn more about development needs. However, when time is tight and you need to coach on the fly, it may be more realistic to engage in what CMOE calls “Express Coaching™.”

Optimize Your Time

Begin an Express Coaching™ discussion by saying something like, “In the interest of time, my comments here will be very brief. However, I would like to follow up with you at a later date so we can spend more time on this topic.” Then, let them know when you will be available to hold a longer, more in-depth conversation. Formal coaching is important for sustained learning and growth.

There are many opportunities to use Express Coaching™ each day. These opportunities may present themselves when you are walking to your next meeting, as you arrive to work, or when you observe something and want to share your impressions quickly.

Using Express Coaching™ isn’t appropriate when you are reviewing the results of a large project or when a major problem has occurred. Under circumstances like these, you need to give people a chance to fully absorb the message, so it’s important to take the time to have a full-length coaching conversation. However, Express Coaching™ is a great tool to use in many situations. Here are five skills that will help you hold an effective Express Coaching™ conversation:


manager express coaching in a warehouse


1. Keep it simple

First, keep the message brief and straightforward. Incorporate nonverbal support into the message you are communicating by using appropriate eye contact and demonstrating attentiveness.

2. Describe what you’ve seen

State your observations clearly and directly and share the information and facts you’ve gathered concisely. Avoid asking a lot of questions in this situation; you won’t have time to fully explore them. If you sense tension or disagreement from the coachee after you’ve shared your thoughts, let him or her know you will have time to explore the issue in greater depth during a lengthier coaching session.

3. Explain the impact

The third skill is to explain why it is important to address this coaching topic. For example, you might say, “This is why it is important to the client.”

4. Brainstorm solutions

Ask the other person for his or her ideas and options before offering your own. The person being coached will often have a solution. This approach allows the coachee to buy in. If you do offer a suggestion, ask “Are you willing to give this a try?” to help establish accountability for taking action.

5. Schedule a time to follow up

Before you part ways set a time to check in. Without follow up, the issue may get lost among other day-to-day tasks. Regularly following up allows you to offer support and help the person overcome any obstacles that may have gotten in the way of making improvements.

For more on Express Coaching, see our article on Training Magazine Website (

With over 40 years of experience, we have the knowledge and resources to take your organization to the next level. Contact CMOE today to find out how we can help you grow.

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About the Author


CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.