Work coaching is done by the managers or business owners when there is a strong decline in an employee’s performance and attitude towards work. Sometimes, an employee is called for coaching when he’s experiencing difficulties at work.

Coaching evolves in the principle that managers need to convey to the employee what is expected of them and how they are supposed to perform their necessary duties, tasks and assignments.

The main goal of work coaching should be centered in assisting the employee to realize and identify solutions around the barriers that they are facing. Since there are so many articles and self help books online about work coaching, I’ll just discuss what NOT to do during a work coaching session.

There are so many coaching styles out there, but the basic things any sane manager shouldn’t do never changes.

Don’t Do this!

Work coaching takes time and a little bit of effort from the managers. When an employee is facing the rut, a manager needs to develop an effective coaching strategy specific for the employee. Since it is true that every person is different and motivated by different factors, the coaching style should vary with every employee. In general, here are the things that you should NOT do as during work coaching sessions:

  1. Don’t be too aggressive during the session. The initial response of the employee would be to defend himself and his actions. Try to be calm and gentle, so as to provide a positive atmosphere during your coaching sessions. Whatever you do, don’t initiate a shouting match with your employee.

  1. Don’t cross your arms or stand up and walk around during the coaching session. This gives your employee the feeling that you’re not interested. Some people may even think that you’re interrogating them ala good cop, bad cop style.

  1. Don’t use negative statements. Try to reinforce positive feedback by using positive statements. Instead of focusing on the bad things, try to lighten things up by mixing your comments with commendable things your subordinate did.

  1. Don’t be condescending. You’re not coaching a two year old here! Encourage the employee to engage in the conversation and ask for his opinion as well.

  1. Don’t blame the employee for his or her actions. Encourage the person to change or do better, so as to ease the tension during the coaching process. Dwelling on previous mistakes hinders future growth and development.

  1. Don’t forget to remind the employee what is expected from him or her, but don’t tell the person what to do. Encourage the person to develop his or her own plan of action regarding the work or job at hand.

  1. Don’t be in a hurry. Learning takes time. No great monument was built overnight, so you shouldn’t expect anyone to suddenly become a superstar employee overnight.

  1. Don’t coach when you’re angry. Enough said.

Do This!

Experience will always be the best teacher. As a manager, no matter how diligent you are in paying close attention to the details in your employee’s work, the person will always learn best from his or her experience.

In work coaching, it is essential that managers know WHEN to step in. Let’s do a fast track on when it is time for a manager to enter the picture:

  1. When the employee is already causing harm to others and towards the business.

  2. When the employee is performing unethical and illegal actions.

  3. When they are bringing or pulling everyone else down.

  4. When the employee is constantly failing performance standards

Work coaching provides an avenue to balance all the factors that are affecting the performance of the employee. It’s the key to developing your staff and creating a long term bond with them.

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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.