It’s great when participants on Zoomly’s ‘How to coach your people’ workshop start to see the difference they can make when they add a coaching approach to their toolkit. They experience the power of switching from being in ‘tell’ mode all the time to ‘ask’ mode. Indeed they can get a bit evangelical and want to adopt coaching as their default approach. However there will be times when coaching isn’t the way to go, and a different kind of conversation is required.
|When to coach
||When not to
|When one of your team…
||When one of your team…
- Needs to step up and take more responsibility
- Is about to participate in a training programme
- Needs to weigh up the pros and cons of their suggestion – it’s good, but they need to think things through
- Is clearly getting the hang of a task yet still seems to depend on your supervision
- Wants to discuss how they’re performing and how they can develop
- Seems somewhat overwhelmed and unsure what to do next
- Appears to lack confidence, yet you believe them to be highly capable
- Has just returned from a training course, full of enthusiasm and ideas
- Is being shown how to do something for the first time – they would benefit from a more instructive ‘how to’ approach
- Doesn’t deliver what you’ve both agreed they will – they first need some clear feedback
- Turns up late day after day – time to remind them of some basic team ground-rules
- Lacks focus and tends to prioritise less important tasks – they may need help to see the bigger picture and prioritise
- Delivers work that is below the required standard – as well as feedback, they need examples
- Has got the hang of something and is doing it well without you – they need autonomy and praise
- Is a new joiner and is breaking unwritten rules – they need a buddy or mentor to guide them
- Behaves inappropriately towards a colleague – they need to know it will not be tolerated
Do you have any more examples, or questions about when is/isn’t the right time to coach your team members? Feel free to get in touch.
You may also find this blog post useful: Ask a coach: I’m a manager, and now I’m being told to coach – just when am I supposed to find the time?
Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’, available now at bookstores and on Amazon.