There are all sorts of coaching scenarios in the workplace, for example:
- Onboarding a new employee
- Showing a new procedure to your colleague
- Giving constructive feedback
Unlike “telling” conversations, a coaching conversation uses questions to probe into a given situation.
For example, in an onboarding or learning situation, instead of saying, “So, here’s what you’re going to do”; or “What you need to do is…” try:
“Can you share with me what you know about this procedure?”
“ How familiar are you with….?”
This allows the other person to feel less overwhelmed, and more like an equal partner in the learning process. That way, communication resembles a learning conversation, rather than a lesson.
In a constructive feedback situation, be curious! Instead of saying, “You shouldn’t have done this” or “This is not the way you do it,” try
“What do you think went well or not so well?”
“Can you explain your thinking when you submitted this report?”
This will prevent the other person from putting their defensive wall up and will preempt misunderstandings. And what’s more, there will be greater ownership of the process and the likelihood of the mistake not being repeated.
Coaching is all about guidance through great questions.
What are your successful coaching questions that you use with your colleagues? Share in the comments below.
I offer leadership communication training for those who would like to turn difficult work situations into opportunities. Book your free discovery call with me today and learn how to add more warmth and confidence during your team interactions!