Thursday, October 28, 2010

The 4-Step Performance Coaching Conversation

When organizations are at their best, people clearly understand and are committed to their unique role in helping the company achieve its objectives. Understanding how their work fits with the work of others in the organization gives people a sense of connection and significance. This role clarity results from dialogue and discussion.

If you are finding an employee is not meeting your expectations you may need to provide them more clarity through a performance improvement coaching conversation. A performance improvement coaching conversation is the opportunity to make the future distinct from the past. You may be looking for a shift of thinking, behavior or result from your employee. Your opportunity and role in coaching conversations is to help the employee know your expectations.

How can you approach a coaching conversation?

  1. Create a Positive Experience: create an environment that looks forward, strive for solutions rather than beating down the past.
  2. Share Your Observations and Expectations: to clarify what you have observed from work output and demonstrated employee behaviors, speak to what you have observed and the specific outcomes
  3. Strive: for two-way communication with the employee and begin talking about they can make successful changes.
  4. Invite and Include: the employee to help you find a resolution to the problem and increase the probability that they will be invested in making the changes you are asking of them.

Example in Action:

  • Create a Positive Experience: "I can tell you that you are highly motivated and want to contribute your efforts towards our organization’s success."
  • Share Your Observations and Expectations: "I need to share with you area that I have observed that has the opportunity for better contributions. Is now a good time for me to share this with you?  I have observed that the project status report you are required to complete on a weekly basis by Friday is not always completed on Fridays. It is important to get this report from you on Fridays because the program team uses this data to make decisions about volunteer coordination and timing for the following week. By receiving this report Monday or Tuesday they lose 1 – 2 days in the week by not efficiently allocating program resources resulting in overstaffing on one are of the program over another.
  • Strive: "I want to understand what this looks like from your perspective."
  • Invite: "Why do you think you are unable to complete the reports by Friday? What gets in your way? Is it a question of quantity, quality, time or resources? How can I help you?"
  • Include: "How do you plan to start getting these reports completed by Friday?"
 - Amy Maranowicz, Organizational Development and Training Manager