While coaching an employee may never end, there must be a starting point. You may have done annual reviews and employee assessments to determine who and what you’re going to coach to, but now you need to determine how you’ll establish that relationship.
The first step is to determine the one or two items that the coach will focus upon. Going beyond a couple items takes the emphasis away from the most important so keeping the number of items limited is suggested. Both coach and coachee must also recognize this will not be a one and done experience. It often takes 12-18 months to see adoption of a coaching program and change begin to occur within an organization.
Another issue to consider is whether an organization utilizes an internal or outside coach. If internal, and it’s a situation of someone coaching a direct report, some understanding must exist as to where the coaching relationship line is drawn in relation to where the manager/employee relationship exists. At times, there are issues that come up in coaching that directly impact the existing relationship or that which will exist going forward. For this reason, many organizations will bring in an outside coach. An outside coach can also be a challenge since they may not know the industry or the organization. Neither of these situations is surmountable, but must be considered.
One thing a coach needs to avoid in establishing the relationship is to tell the coachee what to do based on what the coach has done in their past. Coaching is not telling someone what to do, it’s getting them to look in the mirror and determining if they choose to act on what they see.
For success, both coach and coachee must be motivated to see change in the coachee. The goal of the coach is to get the coachee to progress toward an expected level of performance. The coach should ask questions and offer ways to help the coachee look in the mirror and determine what they will do to progress toward the expected performance level. This is an indication to both parties as to the desire of the coachee.
Ultimately, when establishing the relationship and throughout the course of it, the goal of the coach is to see the coachee demonstrate EFFORT which will lead to PROGRESS and finally RESULTS.