Coaching Tip For Leaders: Think A, B, C

No time for Coaching?  Think Again

Coaching is one of the most important skills for a leader.  And yet, many managers struggle to find the time, the steps, the right words.  Employees today want feedback on their current jobs and career advice for future positions. Your boss holds you accountable for coaching for performance and career development.

So why do many leaders struggle?  Most likely it is due to lack of confidence in their coaching skills and perceived lack of time.    Coaching does not mean that you have to do all the talking.  By asking some simple questions, you can initiate a conversation and go from there.

But how do you fit this into your already over scheduled routine? The answer may be easier than you think. By asking a few questions, your next coaching session could be as short as ten  minutes if you remember your ABC’s

A means ASK


C means CLOSE

A – Ask to Identify Needs

Asking is the first step in a coaching conversation.  You as the leader can use this opportunity to identify needs.  Try some of these questions to start the dialogue:

  • What skills and behaviors will you need to accomplish this?
  • What do you think went well?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • Here’s what I observed…Situation-Behavior-Impact
  • What support do you need from me?

B- Brainstorm to Explore Options

Brainstorming, the second step provides an opportunity to explore solutions.  The following questions may help to open up possibilities:

  • What are some of the options?
  • What are the short-term and long-term effects?
  • What do you think is the best approach?
  • Who else should be involved?
  • What tools are at your disposal?

C- Close  to Commit and Implement

Close, is the last and very important step.  It insures accountability and follow up.  These questions will specify commitment and implementation:

  • What specific action steps will you take?
  • How will you evaluate success?
  • How can I best help you with your commitment?
  • How will you monitor your progress?
  • What changes will you make to your plan/approach?
  • How will you recognize and reward yourself and others for success in achieving these goals?

Next Steps for You as Coach

Plan your next coaching session with the three stages in mind.  Select a few questions for each part.  Ask, sit back and listen.  Coaching does not have to be painful or confusing.  Coaching your employees is an opportunity for you and them to understand each other and create solutions together.