In Part I, you learned the 3 levels of conversations which were transactional, positional, and transformative and the conditions that are necessary to ensure the best outcomes with your team members. Part II, in this series, you’ll learn the 4 most common types of leadership coaching conversations and how to execute each one.
Preparing for a Leadership Coaching Conversation for Peak Performance, Part II
The 4 most common coaching conversations for leaders at work are:
- Performance Management
- Performance Development
- Trust/Relationship Building
- Performance management (human do-ing conversation)
Performance management coaching conversations are focused on setting expectations of performance and measuring the progress towards those expectations.
- Setting of an
agreed upon set of expectations from the leader, manager, or supervisor to the
- Creation of a set of SMART goals toward meeting those expectations
- Setting clearly understood consequences of what occurs if the expectations are not met
- Asking the following questions: Do both of you have clearly understood consequences of what occurs if the expectations are not met? What have been the consequences in the past and are they the same for others they work with for the same expectations? (Consequences should not be threats of any kind, but rather a focus on the real consequences when they do not meet a performance expectation)
- What skills do they think they need to increase their competency in order to reach the expectations you have for them?
- Do you both agree on what their competency level is in the skills they need to reach the expectations you have both agreed on for them?
- What resources are available to them in order to build those competencies? (time, money, mentorship, practice without consequence)
- Performance development (human be-ing conversation)
Performance development coaching conversations are focused on understanding and setting a professional development path for the team member. The coaching conversations are designed to ideate ways to get there with the resources available and celebrate progress.
Some questions that can be helpful in these conversations are:
- What do they want
that they don’t have right now?
- Are you someone who they think is the cause of them not having what they want at work, or do they see you as someone who can help them get what they want?
- Where do they see themselves in 5 years – what would right look like then? What would they have, how would they feel, and what would they be doing differently?
- What are their biggest concerns they have in getting to what right would look like in 1, 2, 3 years from now – or even months from now?
- Relationship/trust building (conversations that create connection)
Relationship building coaching conversations are focused on building trust between you and the team member that will lay the foundation for effective coaching conversations in the future.
Some methods that might be helpful in these conversations are:
- Ask open ended questions that allow you to get to know the team member better in order to find out what matters the most to them.
- Reserve judgment (put away your “should” library) and just listen. Let them know you hear and understand them by using active listening skills like being present during the conversation (no distractions, relaxed tone and body language, in an environment you can both feel comfortable in).
- Affirm them by making statements of appreciation of them, acknowledgement of them, and something you find special about them.
6 Ways to Build and Maintain Trust as a Leader
In order to ensure that you are consistently building and not jeopardizing trust with those that you serve and coach, focus on being:
- Sincere – make sure your actions match your words. Don’t say you care about them and when they have an illness not even do a check-in when they get back to see how they are feeling.
- Involved/Engaged – find out what matters to them at work and home and be sure to ask them about it periodically.
- Reliable – keep your promises.
- On time – nothing aggravates a team member more than for you to set an appointment they have to be on time for, but you never are – or you are distracted the entire time on your computer or cell phone.
- Competent – show your level of competence by asking curious questions and being open to seeing things in new ways or from their point of view. If you are good at your job, be secure and confident that someone seeing it differently is not an affront to your intelligence or your experience.
- Clear about your standards – don’t move the needle! If you set standards be sure that both of you agree on them and you both believe they can be met. Don’t constantly change the standards you want them to meet as the person you are coaching could become disengaged.
- Check-ins (continuous improvement conversations)
Check-in coaching conversations are focused on making small, incremental steps to get to the performance expectations, development expectations, or goals you both have set and agreed to for the team member.
Finally, a simple method that provides big results over time is to ask these 3 questions weekly:
Is there something that you could stop doing that doesn’t seem to be working?
What do you need to start doing instead?