Telling Ain’t Coaching

Watch how this method is used

Doing it Right
Doing it Wrong

Coaching is part of a supevisor’s toolkit to develop skills and behaviours in staff. The goal of coaching is to improve staff performance. A manager, supervisor or team lead can be a coach. Coaching can occur when an appropriate coachable moment arises.  A coaching session takes place as a conversation between the coach and the coachee. Instructing and demonstrating a skill or behavior is not enough. A coach asks questions and focuses on guiding the coachee to discover answers for themselves. Staff have more ownership with solutions that they have come up, rather than those that are forced upon them!

  1. Make use of small moments to coach staff (coachee).
  2. Spend more time listening to the coachee than talking. A rough guide would be 80% listening and 20% talking.
  3. Ask questions to move the coachee’s thinking forward. Avoid giving straight answers to coachee.
  4. Use open-ended questions such as:
    • “What worked and what did not work for you?”
    • “How did you make that choice?”
    • “How do you decide to do that?”
    • “What would you do differently?”
    • “What can we learn from this?”
  5. Avoid questions such as:
    • “Why did this happen?”
    • “Who asked you to do that?”
    • “Why can’t you follow the procedures?”
    • “What’s wrong with you?”
    • “What have you done wrong?”
  6. Help the coachee decide what he/she can commit to doing differently in future.
  7. Check back with the coachee to ensure the commitment is fulfilled.
  8. Provide feedback to the coachee on his/her actions.

  1. Organisation / management
    • Promote the use of coaching in the workplace to improve performance.
    • Provide coaching training to managers, supervisors and team leaders.
  2. Workplace ‘trainer’
    • Use small moments in between work to coach staff. Make the coaching informal. Don’t use the word “coach”.
    • Listen more than you talk (use the 80/20 principle).
    • Use questions to guide coachee towards achievement of his/her goals.
  3. Workplace ‘learner’
    • Take charge in setting a challenging but realistically achievable goal in your work and be open towards someone helping and guiding you towards that goal.