Creating A Coaching Environment

As a manager, your role will be dual as you will be coaching a coachee who reports directly to you, and you must keep the goals of the organization front and centre.

This does not stop you from coaching your employees to work to achieve their full potential both professionally and personally.

Coaching provides you with additional tools to best ask key questions that will better prepare your employees to be more engaged and better contribute to the organization.

There are 7 fundamental tips to follow in creating a coaching environment in your place of work:

  1. Preparation. Be prepared for your coaching sessions and be on time.
  2. Respect. Treat the session with your coachees as you would any other important appointment.
  3. Commitment. Do your homework as you would expect your coachees to complete their homework before coming to the meeting.
  4. Clarity.Set clear timelines and agenda for the meeting prior to meeting with your coachees.
  5.  Focus. Remove all distractions from the meeting. Block the time off as unavailable and do not answer the telephone or allow any interruptions.
  6. Flexibility & Variety. Look for different ways to coach the employee and choose the one that is best for that moment. Be prepared to adjust for next session depending on the coachee’s needs and that of the organization.
  7. Lighten Up! Lighten the session by using humour, or a light, fun and entertaining story. People learn and grow when they are relaxed and at ease in your presence.

For each of the above 7 tips for creating a coaching environment, what will you be doing differently in your place of work? Please write your comments below.

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14 Replies to “Creating A Coaching Environment”

  1. I would consider myself to be a very respectful person but during our first session I realized that I always answer the phone no matter who I am meeting with. Going forward I will show more respect and let it ring, whoever is calling can always leave a message.

    1. Hi Lori,
      Thanks for the comments! It’s amazing some of the habits we develop that we’re not aware of-but actually prevents our coachees from feeling fully supported, heard and respected. Great awareness on your part! Your sessions will be more rich and rewarding for you and your coachees. Keep coaching!

  2. For the 7 tips for creating a coaching environment what I will be doing differently is to be more respectful and have someone else answer the phone and take messages during that time. I will also keep the lighten up in mind and have a sense of humor and share a story of my own experiences to help us relate better.

  3. I will create a distraction free zone by having a Do Not Disturb sign for the door, close the blinds on the windows and make sure all phones are turned off. At the end of the session I will prepare an agenda for the next session with the coachee.

    1. Hi Nancy! Yes, the distraction free zone works wonders for everyone! It also helps you better focus so you know what kinds of questions to ask your staff, it allows for you to pick up on anything that might be off etc. Having the agenda for next session is powerful! it sets the stage for what to address next time for both of you and helps you both prepare. Keep coaching!

  4. I would choose a location where there would be no distractions (close door, do not disturb sign, turn of any phones, …) I would take the time to prepare some discussion notes/questions prior to our meeting. After the session I would document the session and write down any goals and decisions that were made so that we could follow up at the next session. Before ending our session we would schedule the next session.

    1. Great points Brenda! You will find your process above helps you have solid information for the performance review. It also allows you to coach and provide feedback on an ongoing basis. This makes for catching problems before they get out of hand as well as catching what’s working so you can publicly praise the staff member. Good stuff!

  5. I will implement the tip respect and treat the secsion as any other important appointment. Too often I speak with staff on the spot or slightly removed from others over hearing rather than setting up a time and place to meet. This has been due to me being on the floor as a front line staff, but I can see how maybe the peopson being coached would take it more seriouly if I set a specific time to set goals or a discussion rather than an informal chat.

    1. I support your point about having a formal chat to drive home the importance of the person being coached and the topic at hand. I also would like to encourage you to have some informal chats as well. Do keep this up as it gives a sense of ease, availability and likely to encourage your staff to speak up and speak out more. So combine the two and you will have a powerful and successful coaching environment!

  6. The 7 tips for creating a coaching environment are most of the things I do already with my coachees. The one thing that I will do differently is the clarity. I always started off by telling my coachees about what the meeting/talk is about but I never really thought about telling them the expected time it will take to go through the meeting or how much time is allotted for it.

  7. Flexibility & Variety-these are two things that I feel are important when dealing with all the different staff in our centre. What works well with one staff, doesn’t necessarily work well with others. I really need to think about what each staff needs when it comes to feedback or guidance and make adjustments to my approach with them.

    1. Thanks Suzanne! You are so right in your observations. Many leaders are so busy with multiple demands on their time-they tend to use a one -approach fix all when dealing with their staff. You identified this does not work! It actually takes time to get to understand each person’s preferred way of interacting with each other in the workplace. We will cover feedback a week from today which will help you fine tune your observations. Great insights!

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