Why is it that so many managers have trouble coaching subordinates? Maybe they share a fear of confrontation, rejection or failure. Perhaps they fear that the associate in question may go on a postal rampage because of feedback. It doesn’t have to be painful for anyone if handled correctly. Here are a few ideas how to coach more effectively.
- Observe the unwanted behavior firsthand. If you haven’t seen it yourself, how can you hope to correct it?
- Take the time to speak with the person alone. No one likes an audience when being confronted.
- Don’t lay blame. If you come off as being accusatory the person may shut you out completely making a dialog is impossible.
- Ask him what is going on and be an active listener throughout the process. There may be something completely unrelated that is causing his work to suffer.
- Be prepared for anything. What if the reason he is not performing is you?
- Have him help you find a solution to his dilemma. He will feel more invested if he is part of the answer.
- Follow up with him. It can be the next day, hour or whatever time period you choose. The objective here is to build accountability by checking in to see how things have progressed since you last spoke.
Currently, some responsibilities at my current job are to train/retrain/mentor/coach the sales associates. As a customer experience expert I pay close attention to associates weekly sales and other important metrics. Last week I had a great experience coaching one recent non-performer, helping him to turn the trend around. Most importantly, his performance visibly improved after we spoke and when I checked back in a week for an update, he told me how much he appreciated me listening to him and helping him overcome his problem at work. Not only was this encounter satisfying for me as a manager, but he felt valued in the process.