Better Coaching: A Six Question Process

AdminCoaching & Leadership

Its an undeniable truth that the top employees do not always make the best leaders of people. Just because someone is exceptional at their job doesn’t necessarily translate into them being the best coaches or able to get the most from their teams. We at Sprigg believe in the power of conversations. By engaging and learning from your employees in small groups and one-to-one situations you can become a better coach and team leader.

For the employers, one-on-ones gives a structure for guidance and focus which leads to higher productivity. Employees have greater satisfaction as coaching allows them to share their ideas and career plans.

Helping Managers Become Better Leaders

The Sprigg performance management software helps managers become better coaches because we employee the best practices. Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There? discusses employing a six-question process for better coaching. He recommends executives conduct one-on-ones quarterly with their direct reports to focus on understanding disagreements with the company’s strategic alignment. Using the simple and fast Sprigg software, this process can be regularly applied to all levels of an organization.

So what are the six questions?

There is no perfect formula to becoming an effective coach. Indeed, it often requires flexibility, trial and error.

Nevertheless, there are some important questions you can incorporate into your performance management practices which can help offer direction and encourage collaboration.

1. Where are we going?

Employees are on the front line and often have the most current and detailed insights into your customers’ needs. Ask employees for their ideas about where the organization should be going. This is an opportunity to ensure that strategic objectives set by each member of the organization are in alignment with the corporate vision. Employees have the opportunity to come up with new ideas and share them with the executive teams.

2. Where are you going?

This question has two levels. The first one is where the specific functional teams are heading towards. What are they trying to achieve to support the company’s mission, vision, and goals?

The second level is the direct reports’ individual goals and priorities. Knowing where your employees are aiming towards can help you build your succession pipeline.

3. What is going well?

Ask your employees what they think the organization as a whole is doing well and what their teams have been doing well. Recognize their achievements and contributions to your overall goals. You may have missed out on some positive accomplishments and this is the perfect setting to learn about them.

4. What are key suggestions for improvement?

Encourage employees to provide constructive suggestions for development. You should pick the key opportunities for improvement and focus on them for the quarter. By listening to your employees’ suggestions, you can modify your own suggestions to better reflect the strategic objectives of the company.

5. How can I help?

Through taking in your employees’ needs and feedback, you can create the right support to ensure that their suggestions are being implemented effectively. You can also participate by suggesting approaches and asking whether the approach will be helpful to become more effective. Remember, they key to improvement is all about providing coaching to the right people on the right topic.

6. What suggestions do you have for me?

This important question makes the 1 on 1 a two-way dialogue. Employees are more open to the idea of being coached, when their managers are are willing to be coached by them. Managers who ask for feedback and focus on improving the key behaviours are more likely to have an increase in leadership effectiveness.

Finally, its vital to remember that, no matter what your role in the company, feedback is king! Constantly look to adapt and improve your coaching and leadership style and your company will reap the rewards!