A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.

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Coaching your employee (video 2) – talking too much


In the second video of our series unpacking the most common coaching errors YakTrak’s Brad Thomas looks at talking too much.

We all want to get the best out of the coaching experience. Employers want to maximise performance and employees are looking for help into how they can be better at the work they do – but sometimes the actual coaching experience doesn’t quite deliver.

Asking great questions gives you and your employees the chance to have meaningful conversations. Often it is the coach doing most of the talking. Allowing team members to talk more will engage them in the coaching process and their role. And with a bit of preparation you’ll be setting your employees up for success.

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Employee coaching dos and don’ts

Tips to help you have better conversations.

1. Don’t think of it as a tick-box exercise

Coaching provides an opportunity to develop your employees in ways that will deliver real, ongoing results. The approach is the opposite of an annual performance review that’s focused on measuring results. So, when coaching your employee, show them that you’re committed to the process, and you want to genuinely engage with them.

2. Do have a clear intent

Work with your employees to define the outcomes you are looking for and keep the focus on the goal. Don’t let your coaching sessions be derailed with day-to-day matters or other issues.

3. Do set aside enough time

People can sense when leaders are rushing through an employee coaching session. You want your people to engage with the process – to do this effectively you’ll need to be present and engaged too. This means ensuring that you’ve set aside a suitable amount of time.

4. Do prepare your questions

Do you have a coaching method that your organisation uses? If so, use it as a starting point. Spend time preparing for the session – consider the goals, progress and outcomes of earlier coaching sessions. Coaching works when you have researched questions to ask.

5. Do ask once, twice… and then give your advice

Now that you’re asking good questions you need to give your employee a chance to answer. Here’s a great habit to get into – ask your question once and if you’re not getting to the heart of the issue, or the answer that you’re looking for, ask again. Here you might need to rephrase to get a different response. Make sure you give your employee the space to answer. After you’ve gone through this process you can consider what’s been said and if it’s beneficial to share your advice.

6. Do listen to the answers

Remember to really listen during a coaching session. We are all guilty of talking too much! As a leader you might feel pressure to have all the answers – but remember that people are more likely to engage with the coaching session if they’re given opportunity to talk about what’s going on with them.

7. Don’t talk too much

Make sure your employees see coaching sessions as something that’s there to help them. You shouldn’t be doing most of the talking. Hint: you’ll know when you’re talking too much when you see eyes glazing over or when your employees are smiling and agreeing with you the whole time!

So, what will be your first step be when coaching an employee?

How YakTrak can help

Preparing questions is just one way you can start to improve engagement with your employees. YakTrak’s coaching software supports leaders to engage with their people and helps staff to take control of their own learning. Coaching is an ongoing process and YakTrak supports businesses to maintain their coaching programs and provides key insights into the effectiveness of their people development.

Need more coaching and people development advice?

Have a 30 minute chat with YakTrak’s people development expert