When you finish a coaching session with one of your direct reports, how do you feel?
Are you happy that you accomplished something, or are you excited to see how the team member will improve? Coaching shouldn’t be an opportunity to tick something off your to-do list. It should be driven by your team’s goals and objectives.
When you walk away from a coaching session with your staff, you should be able to surmise an expected outcome. Not sure what this means? Take a look at these and think about how effective your tutelage may have been.
A Development Plan
The most obvious outcome you can expect is to create a development plan for your staff member. It doesn’t matter if they’re a new employee or your top performer. They should have a pathway to improvement. In each coaching session, you should know if they’re heading in the right direction.
After a catchup, you should provide an update to your team member on how they are progressing. It should also include action items you want to see them implement. You also need to do your part and explain how you will support them.
One of the ways you can support your team member is by having additional coaching sessions. In these catchups, you’re looking for performance improvements. Are they implementing the action items, or are the opportunities to adapt them differently?
The key to these sessions is that the performance is improving. In this case, you need to be able to measure it. Is their sales conversion increasing, or are the other metrics they need to focus on? Be clear on what you’re looking for and make this your sole focus.
Sometimes an unexpected outcome of a coaching session is getting customer insights. You might pick up on a trend or learn from your consultant about a better way to handle specific interactions. These findings are invaluable to you, your team members, and upper management.
Insights can help you formulate new strategies and approaches to further improve performance. You’re also able to take this to your colleagues and your superiors for them to figure out ways to market or solve problems these customers may have.
One of the underrated outcomes of a coaching session is providing validation to your direct report. We don’t know what we don’t know. The same applies to your team members. They might be wondering if what they’re doing is right or if they’re implementing the action items correctly. Sometimes you just need to tell them they’re on the right track and to keep working on it.
These coaching sessions also provide validation to you as a leader. What you’re teaching is sticking, and the performance is proof that the staff member is progressing in the right direction. Now you can employ these strategies with similar employees and use your confidence to keep the momentum going.
What Outcome Are You Looking For?
By the time your coaching session has ended, you should have an idea of what the outcome of it was. Do you feel like you have a solid development plan? Has performance improved? Did you gain any insights, or do you feel validated that the team member is progressing? If you don’t have an outcome, you should stick around until you have one.
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