Most companies consider coaching a necessary tool in employee development. One way to add value to this development is to find extra coaching situations. What if an on-the-spot coaching opportunity presents itself, but if you wait for the “ideal” time to meet, the powerful teaching moment will be lost? Sometimes leaders need to coach immediately in order to make the most of the moment. There is not always time to have an in depth coaching session, but many opportunities for express coaching are often missed. Here are some tips for finding and executing a successful quick coaching interaction.
Finding Opportunities for On the Spot Coaching
- Look for coaching opportunities where the time is limited to less than 10 minutes.
- Find relationships where there is mutual respect and open communication lines exist.
- Make sure that the person being coached is in a good position to be engaged in a coaching conversation.
- Look for opportunities that will present minimal resistance to your coaching.
Tips for Executing On the Spot Coaching
- Focus on one behavior or skill at a time.
- Keep your tone neutral and non-punishing.
- Be assertive by calling attention to your observations and why they have caused you concern.
- Have a specific recommendation in mind.
- Build ownership by allowing the other person to enhance the plan with their suggestions.
- Get a commitment by asking closed questions, such as, “Will you try it?”
- Explain the benefits the plan has on the company, the employee and the customer.
- Define the natural and imposed consequences of not changing.
There are many factors that can lead to an ineffective, express coaching situation. It may be more appropriate to schedule a time for a full coaching conversation if: there is more than one issue that needs to be addressed, you do not have a solid relationship with the person involved, the person to be coached is too stressed or busy when you would approach them, or you realize that you will be met with lots of resistance. On the spot coaching, when used correctly, can be a powerful way to quickly correct an inappropriate behavior or action. It can also be a useful tool to reinforce positive results. When you locate a coaching situation that is time sensitive, be prepared to act. By utilizing these extra opportunities for coaching, you will be able to develop your team members faster and more effectively.