The Power of One-on-One Coaching
According to research one on-one-coaching becomes a force when you do it. Why? Because of the engagement with employees face to face: virtually or in-person or on the phone. Many managers today do not talk to their employees or customers enough. The media asked the late Sam Walton of Wal-Mart about that. They wanted to know why he spent only one day a week in his office, and the rest of the time in stores with employees or customers. He replied that he knew that was too much time in the office. However, he could learn to do better. Therefore, if you are not meeting with employees regularly, in groups and one-on-one, you are missing a key opportunity to positively influence them. Furthermore, you miss the time that will increase their productivity and improve their results.
The biggest objection managers give about coaching is it takes too much time. Three key resources make up a business: capital, material and human. People are the most important resource because they creatively put the other resources to work. Of course, people are more than resources, they should be valued partners. We need a whole new view about this. The question arises why wouldn’t a manager want to invest time in people?
For example, one business we worked with highlighted this dilemma. After talking to employees and spending time in their work areas, they asked us to get their manager to “listen to us and see what we are trying to do.” Instead, they said, he spent all day sending out inflammatory emails and creating reports in minutia. They wanted him to open his office door, get out from behind his desk to work with and help them.
Benefits of One-on-One Coaching Meetings
One-on-one coaching meetings benefit the managers and employees alike for a variety of reasons.
- Promotes effective communication and feedback.
- Provides opportunity for training.
- Creates a working partnership.
- Creates an atmosphere for trust and continuous improvement.
- Focuses on development for the future.
- Supports effective performance management and productivity.
- Builds a positive and valued relationship.
How do you conduct a one on-one-coaching meeting? They are usually done weekly to monthly and last 30-60 minutes. A one-on-one begins with a warm friendly greeting, and then is specifically about goals/expectations, plans, problems, and solutions. You ask the employee to analyze their results first. Certainly, you give employees praise about their positive results and establish performance issues clearly and directly.
Also, you need to give feedback, it has been called breakfast of champions. Why? Positive feedback reinforces the right behaviors and developmental (constructively given) feedback will help the employee make corrective actions for improved behavior. Here are examples:
- Positive feedback: For example: I compliment you Sue for your presentation today. You were well prepared and answered questions knowledgeably. Your PowerPoint was clear, readable, and entertaining. You covered the three key areas of our plan that we needed to discuss. Thank you for your professionalism.
- Developmental feedback: For example: Bob, tell me your assessment of your customer call? Good. Notice as I comment where we agree and have some differences. Here are three things I thought you did well. In addition, consider these two areas I thought you could have been more effective. You interrupted the customer twice. You seemed to get agitated and started talking louder as he explained his problem. Do you remember these points from an earlier conversation? How might you have handled these better?
Pulling It All Together
In conclusion, your goal in one-on one-coaching is to develop the capability of the employee to perform at a high level independently. Just like an athlete gets better with consistent sports coaching over many practices, coaching through one-on-ones is a process you must do over time. In sum, the power for improvement comes from effective repetition and reinforcement. Furthermore, it releases an employees inner desire and capability to become self-directed. This iterative process allows for and will help sustain significant performance gains including exceptional employee engagement.
Also, are you committed to your team’s success? If so, see this complimentary Coaching for Results eBook.
In addition, go here for our RealTime Learning & Training leadership and personal development website for individuals. Over 140 micro-learning and career development resources at your fingertips!
Finally, do you want to accelerate your leadership success? Go here for Rick’s Superstar Leadership eBook.