Performance coaching is one of the many ways to address these issues and should be an ongoing part of your office culture. Follow these tips to help lead both you and your employees towards a more performance-
Your performance coaching conversations should not only be relegated to times when an employee is experiencing difficulties. A focus on the negative can be incredibly demoralizing and have an adverse effect on personal and team performance. Start your discussions by letting employees know the areas where they are exceeding your expectations. This will help prevent them from going immediately on the defensive once they understand that you’re looking at the whole picture—not simply nitpicking. And remember, top performers need your feedback as well. They should be encouraged, supported, and developed just as much as those who need a little extra assistance and performance coaching.
Be a Good Listener
Remember that you’re having conversations about performance, not a one-way monologue. Listen closely to employees and pay attention to body language as well. Many performance coaching sessions breakdown because of a manager’s inability (or unwillingness)
Instead of talking “at” your employees, ask inquisitive questions that can uncover information and lead to an understanding of performance problems without the feeling of judgment. Ask open-ended questions such as “What have you accomplished so far on the project?” or “How can I be of help to you?” Also ask for their ideas and suggestions on how they can improve the situation. If they feel invested in how their performance is affecting personal, team, and company goals, they’re more likely to want to improve. Or, they may have already thought of solutions but need your assistance implementing them. Don’t talk their ear off so much that they are unable to share these thoughts and feelings with you.
Come prepared to your performance coaching sessions with specific examples of both problems and successes. Know the times, dates, who, what, when, where, and why of any incident to not only increase your credibility with your employees, but laying out these details will also ensure that you double-check yourself for any exaggerations.
Remember that it’s important to include performance coaching in your everyday approach to interactions with staff. Encourage employees to come to you with problems, knowing that you’ll avoid jumping in prematurely with answers or direction. Listen, ask questions, and coach them to come up with their own solutions. The goal is to develop and build your team while saving yourself time and energy. By developing an open performance coaching conversation, you will build the trust that is needed to keep the communication flowing, allowing access to new ways and ideas to meet your business challenges.
Learn more about performance coaching by visiting http://www.thinkbluethinking.com/
Bruno Raynal is the president and CEO of Blue Thinking, a business consulting firm based in San Diego, California. Bruno works with top level senior management to enhance their awareness of modern business practices and patterns so they can make informed choices, take the right action, and achieve their vision and goals. Learn more about Blue Thinking by visiting http://www.thinkbluethinking.com/