As coaches, our major communication tool is verbal feedback. To improve ourselves, our partner, our team, and our business, we need to coach and continually feedback information about what is happening and about our performance.
Unfortunately, delivering feedback and coaching information is a skill that few of us have been taught and even fewer of us use. Without these skills, however, the rumor mill, or grapevine, becomes the primary source of information. There are two main ways to deliver feedback and coach: Appreciative Coaching and Constructive Coaching. Let’s take a look at appreciative coaching first.
Every study done on motivation has confirmed that appreciation for a job well done ranks high (even highest in several surveys) on the list of employee motivation. Appreciative feedback simply lets others know that they are being effective and what we appreciate about them.
As a coaching tool, this form of feedback helps our partner identify what it is that they are specifically doing that makes a real difference. If we are specific enough, our partner will understand what they are doing and why it is very effective. Chances are, they will repeat it and improve on it continually. Below are some tips to create an atmosphere for Appreciative Coaching in your workplace.
Tips for Appreciative Coaching:
- Be sincere;
- Describe the actions or events you observe as specifically and immediately as possible;
- Show how their actions create positive results;
- Express your continued support.
Everyone, from CEO to temporary clerk, has a desire to improve, perform better, and be recognized for it. While the recognition may differ, one thing is universal across the board:
- We can’t improve when we don’t get constructive coaching or specific suggestions on how to improve!
People want, need, and appreciate good constructive coaching. Constructive feedback lets others know how they could be even more effective. Below are some tips to deliver constructive coaching effectively.
Tips for Constructive Feedback:
- Ask permission; i.e., “Would you like some coaching on…”
- Use good timing; i.e., Ask: “Is this a good time to talk about…”
- Give the purpose of your constructive coaching in a climate of trust and support;
- Use “I” statements own your message;
- Be specific;
- Give the other person an opportunity to reply;
- Offer alternatives and suggest solutions;
- Be direct, don’t beat around the bush;
- Make sure you deliver the coaching in private;
- Summarize the conversation. Express your continued support.
Appreciative and Constructive Coaching are two important ways to optimize the way you communicate with your team members. Without effective communication, it is difficult to help others in your workspace to optimize their performance. Conversely, as a Leader you could benefit from some coaching, as well. Introducing these coaching methods in your workplace may even set a precedent for more effective communication styles, undermining triangulation and other forms of negative communication dynamics. Below are some helpful exercises to help you to examine how you can better coach others to success. We hope that you derive benefit from implementing optimal communication strategies into your workplace relationships.
EXERCISES: COACHING OTHERS TO SUCCESS
- Who do I need to provide Appreciative Coaching to?
- What I will say to them, specifically, is: “What I most appreciate about you is…
- Who I do need to provide some Constructive Coaching to?
- How can I best establish a coaching relationship with them; or make an opening to provide coaching?
- What I will say to them, specifically is: “I feel you could be even more effective if…
- Self-Assessment: What are my personal and professional development areas I would like more honest coaching on?
- Who can I enlist as my coach(s) for these areas?
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