The role of a coach is to train or instruct others. Whether as part of a sports team or member of a work team, most people have probably experienced a coaching conversation. If done correctly, coaching can lead to peak performance among employees, and it can also help reinforce a collaborative culture at your company or organization.
There are many ways to coach employees, including formal and scheduled one-on-one conversations, or informal, on-the-spot conversations. Here at Disney Institute, we believe that coaching can best be practiced when great leaders do not allow themselves to become separated from the occurrences on the front line.
First, make it a priority for leaders to connect with employees on a daily basis, and secondly, follow a coaching plan. This plan should also ensure that coaching conversations reinforce a positive, collaborative, and supportive culture.
When a coaching opportunity appears, consider these three tips for success:
1. Begin with positive intent.
- Start with an open, encouraging attitude.
- Focus on the impact of behaviors and actions instead of judgments and reactions.
- Communicate your positive intent.
2. Make the conversation collaborative.
- Engage in a two-way conversation, not a lecture.
- Spend more time listening and asking questions than just telling the person what to do.
- Help the person grow in confidence so they can take personal accountability for improving a behavior or skill.
3. Ensure a supportive environment.
- Give the person your full attention.
- Convey your sincere interest in their development.
- Choose the right time and place.
Because coaching conversations can sometimes be difficult, this approach is meant to remind leaders that showing genuine care for employees throughout these conversations can help to ease tensions and establish a strong relationship. Demonstrating these principles not only shows employees that you care, but it also shows that you are focused on your commitment to them as an individual, as well as the overall organization’s goals.
At Disney, leaders strive to engage in regular coaching conversations, and they are equipped with the tools needed to coach Cast Members on how to uphold key operational elements such as the Four Keys Basics and our common purpose. The goal is to make every conversation count and raise the performance of the employee.
Equipping leaders with the proper training and tools to coach employees can help to move the individual or team beyond simple compliance to a level of genuine commitment to the organization’s desired workplace culture and customer service experience.
Think about it: How can you utilize these coaching methods at your workplace?
Learn more in Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence, our professional development training course, which offers key takeaways for business leaders to help them define and build a thriving organizational culture. Or, bring our team to yours with a private initiative for your organization.