Beginning to Coach Your staff can be daunting. However you can begin to use these 7 steps in the next 24 hours and/or choose to join us as we cover all 7 steps in detail in our 7 module How To Coach Your Staff on-line training for new managers.

We even give you some suggested words and phrases to get you started so that you feel confident to begin actioning these skills – and that’s what we want.

Step 1: WHO:
The Who component is where you consider the staff in your department and choose would be a good candidate for you to invest your time in. I said “Invest your time in” Choose carefully. We are talking about helping staff step up and Seize opportunities. The key qualities you are looking for therefore are

• Those whose current ability or future potential is not being utilized
• Those who have shown an active interest in developing their skills in the past but are now laying low

Now my objective is to see you be successful and to do that I want you to take small steps. That means DO NOT choose the most difficult, quarrelsome person on your team. Choose someone who has shown potential but is missing opportunities to step and show what they are made of.

Step 2: What

WHAT: The “What” is the potential or skills that you feel are under utilized or the opportunities you see where they can step up. Have a few ideas to consider with them. The clearer you are in your own mind, the easier your first coaching conversation will be..

e.g.: I’d like to see David, start to come to me with possible solutions to his issues instead of expecting me to give him the answers and I think he’d be great to lead that new project because he has the ability but I think he just lacks confidence to back his own judgment..

Step 3: Research

RESEARCH: Step 3 “Research” is where you investigate the staff member’s perspective.
• The first thing you want to understand is how he/she feels about their own level of ability and skill – e.g.: what do they find challenging, what they find easy and why.
• Secondly you want to know if he/she would like to improve any of those abilities. You may discover that your areas for improvement are different from theirs. That’s OK. The objective is to find out what they are inspired to improve that will also benefit the department. Because if they aren’t inspired, little will change anyway so follow what inspires them. If they are really stuck, you can share your perspectives.

If they are totally uninspired to improve then you have the wrong candidate.
In Module 3 of our on-line course you will be conducting this research with your staff and I’ll be giving you the exact tools to use to do so. My clients have found this a very interesting discussion with staff which often leads to in-depth knowledge and insights to their staff’s interests and really paves the way for some powerful coaching.

Step 4: Agree Objectives

If your coachee is interested in improving his/her abilities, then your goal is to help them set a clear objective for what they want to achieve.

We cover goal setting in depth in our on-line course but for now, the 2 key things to bring back to top of mind from any of your management training are that objectives should be:
• specific and
• Measureable.
For example, “Improving communication skills” isn’t specific. However, improving report writing skills” or “being able to facilitate a meeting” are far more specific. Help them articulate what they would like to achieve by a set date and commit to step up, learn and find opportunities to act.

Step 5: Options

OPTIONS: The next step is to let your coachee go away and come up with some ideas on what can be done to improve those abilities.

This is important because we want to give them the responsibility for developing their own skills. You are the coach and your job is to enthuse and support. They have to do the thinking and the work.

Challenge him/her to come up with a list of ideas to discuss with you within a few days. The list should include: things they can do for themselves (e.g. watch and learn from others, read or research.) and external things that might assist (e.g. be given opportunities to act). Schedule a time to get back together to discuss their ideas.

Step 6: Choose

Your coachee has come up with some ideas to achieve their objective.

Your role as a coach is to get him/her to elaborate on each idea by asking questions about why they think these ideas will work.

Your role is not to judge or decide which ideas are best.

You are a coach not a mentor.

When your coachee has worked through their ideas, ask if there is anything else they might be able to do? If you have some ideas, you can offer them now but only as suggestions.

Your coachee must now decide which idea/s to commit to first and by when and what they need to make it happen. This is where so many managers who are trying to coach, go wrong. They want to stay in control and make the decisions.

If you want your people to step up then you need to give them the responsibility for making the choice. Then it’s theirs. They commit to it and you can hold them accountable for delivering it. Otherwise, it’s just another task on their list YOU have asked them to.

Agree their plan with them and schedule a follow up session and then let him/her get on and do it.

Step 7: Feedback and Accountability

Holding people accountable for their actions is a key step in developing character and personal responsibility.

Generally speaking, Generation Y, are renowned for finding the easiest way to short cut tasks. This has good and bad outcomes. They are also looking to see if you are serious about investing time in their development or if it is just a lot of talk. Ensure you the coach hold your staff accountable to attend any agreed follow up sessions that you plan and that you expect them to have done what they said they were going to do.

The skills of holding people accountable, providing constructive feedback, using questions to get staff to talk and the ability to help them set inspiring goals are more in-depth techniques covered in modules 2 – 7 of our online course and we hold your hand all the way as you have these conversations with our staff.

Students will be practicing them live with their Coach and their staff so that it becomes much easier to do.

Author's Bio: 

Juliette Robertson is an Executive Coach offering webinar based Coach Training for new managers in "How to Coach Your Staff. Her 7 module coach training is globally accessible on-line and perfect for busy new managers who want the benefits of e-learning and access to qualified coaching tutors to help fast track their coaching skills.

To register for 60 minutes of free webinar based Coach Training, visit

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