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Southeast Missouri State University

Preparing for a Coaching Session

  • Clarify Your Expectations
    • Specific, observable actions that can be measured - with a specific target date.
  • Observe Performance
    • Be objective by focusing on behaviors that are causing the performance problem
    • Focus on specific behaviors that can be measured and changed
    • Provide specific examples
    • Take notes and keep track of what the employee is doing right and build on those strengths
    • Focus on behaviors that are important to the employee's success and work on them first.
  • Analyze the Performance Concern
    • Discover the areas where the employee is meeting and exceeding expectations and those areas where they need improvement
    • Identify why the employee is not meeting your expectations
  • Provide Immediate Feedback
    • Timeliness is important.

The Coaching Session

  • Describe the problem and your expectations
    • Focus on what you observed (i.e. speed, quantity, accuracy, thoroughness, timeliness, etc...)
  • Gain agreement on the performance concern
    • Listen with an open mind
    • If you do not agree, provide more detailed feedback from your observation of their performance
    • Discuss the situation until you agree on the problem and the impact it has on the department and others
  • Develop solutions together
    • Explore different solutions to solving the problem together
    • Let the employee take an active role in solving his or her own performance concern or issue
  • Agree on an action plan
    • Ask them to outline a plan for putting the solution into plan
    • Confirm understanding by having them communicate the plan to you
  • Determine when you will follow-up
    • Set up a date and time to discuss the progress

Source: Minor, Marianne. Coaching and Counseling: A Practical Guide for Managers. Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Publications, Inc. 1989

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