Coaching is as easy as 1-2-3

Do you coach your direct reports regularly? Most leaders I work with tell me they coach their employees frequently and even pride themselves on being great coaches. However, when I dig deeper, I find out they aren’t really coaching.

While they may be supportive, have an open-door policy and listen to their direct reports, they aren’t really coaching. The conversations tend to go something like this:

Employee: “I have this problem (describes the issue or challenge) and I don’t know what I should do.”

Manager: “Have you tried this…”
Or
“Have you thought about this…”
Or
“When I was in a similar position I did this…”

Employee: “Thank you! You always know how to solve these tough problems.”

This seems like a very supportive manager, right? Yes! This manager was willing to listen. Check! And the employee was comfortable reaching out to this manager. Absolutely! But this isn’t coaching.

The above scenario puts the manager front and center in solving the employee’s issues for them. Coaching, on the other hand, empowers the employee to think for themselves and solve the problem on their own, with the manager facilitating the conversation. The manager is the sounding board who helps the employee weigh the pros and cons to arrive at a solution, thereby solving the problem.

Learning how to coach is as easy as 1-2-3. Well maybe 1-2-3-4 since there are four easy steps to follow using my SAGE coaching model:

Situation Analysis
Alternatives and Options
Goal Setting
Execution and Accountability

You can check out a detailed look at the model and sample questions to ask. Following these four steps is as easy as 1-2-3. To get started, ask these four key questions, that follow the SAGE coaching model:

Situation Analysis:
What obstacles are standing in the way of your success?

Alternatives and Options
What are some options that can work here and what are the pros and cons of each?

Goal Setting
Which option do you want to choose?

Execution and Accountability
On a scale of 1 – 10, how likely are you to do this and what’s preventing this from being a 10?

I promise if you start with these four questions you will be on your way to empowering your employees and providing them with even greater skills for problem solving. This is great coaching and it can be as easy as 1-2-3!

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

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