Executive coach and guest velocity guru Beth Armknecht Miller offers tips on identifying the best times to provide coaching and feedback to your employees.
Unlike scheduled 1on1 meetings, coaching others 'in the moment' is not scheduled and occurs when you, as manager, observe an opportunity for an employee to be coached. It is often spontaneous which requires you to be confident in your coaching skills. Coaching others 'in the moment' is not for the neophyte. Not only must you identify the opportunity, but you must insure it is the right time to coach.
In 1on1 coaching meetings, you are focused on a specific development plan with your employee. Coaching others 'in the moment' requires you to be a keen observer of what is taking place around you whether it is in meetings, 1on1 conversations, or interactions between others within the workplace. The coaching is more informal and spontaneous and is used to either reinforce a positive behavior or prevent undesirable behaviors.
Positive behaviors fall into two categories:
Some of the common behaviors and situations needing change can include:
Let’s take a look at the positive behavior situation first because it’s always the easiest and yet the least frequently used.
There are two basic types of positive behavior. The first is when someone has gone above and beyond your expectations. This is time to use the model for specific praise:
The second type of positive behavior is when she demonstrates a new behavior, which you have been coaching her to develop during your 1on1 meetings. Reinforcement of the change is important for long-term consistent change, which starts with your recognition.
The model to use in this case is SPAR- Specific Praise and Reflection, a modified version of the model above. This is where you include asking her to reflect on the change, how it felt and what impact she thinks it has to her and others. This questioning technique will further cement the new behavior, which she is in the process of learning and trying to make a habit.
When it comes to coaching behaviors that could be derailers to your employee, you first need to take an environmental temperature. Is the environment safe for your employee to receive feedback?
Ask yourself these questions before an impromptu coaching conversation:
A safe coaching environment is where employees feel safe to be coached and will have a high probability of moving their learning into action.
Create value for an employee, so pick your moment and remember your objective when providing feedback.
Beth Armknecht Miller is a Senior Associate at Dynamic Results LLC, a boutique firm offering strategy implementation, accountability and leadership development solutions. Beth is a trusted executive advisor, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer. She is passionate about building sustainable leadership within small to midsize organizations, which will engage employees, increase performance, and build enterprise value. Her latest book is "Are You Talent Obsessed?: Unlocking the secrets to a workplace team of raving high-performers."