As a manager, when you’re planning for your field rides or one-off conversations with your team, how often do these events feel like a “have to” versus a “get to”? How does your team feel? If you had an opportunity to change that mind-set to a “get to” for both parties, how would that change your overall feeling as the coaching approached?

Imagine what a change of coaching mind-set could do for your team’s engagement and productivity. Simple changes to a leader’s approach to coaching sessions and field rides would change your employees’ mindsets from “time with their manager” to an ongoing event that would result in goal achievement and increased productivity.

Collaborative Coaching is a new approach and mindset that you can implement to strengthen your relationship with your team. Though there are multiple components to Collaborative Coaching, here a few actions you can take to get started. You may say, “I have done, or already do, these things,” which is wonderful. But take a moment and reflect on what you do to prepare for coaching sessions to see if you do them every day. And don’t forget to include your employees in the process.

  • Review past coaching session documents as prework before the session. Both you and your employee should review past coaching session documents as part of the biweekly skill analysis. You should set the expectation that they will be initiating the conversation. Ask them to share this analysis when the coaching session begins. Then look to identify which new approach they’ve tried that was based on the previous coaching session. Ask them, “What else do you feel you need to do differently?”
  • Assess how their actions have impacted their business. Look to see which actions they have implemented since the last coaching session. What was the impact on business results and were they correlated to your employee’s actions? Analyze the results they’ve seen as well as the business impact. This will generate a conversation that directly connects their actions to results as opposed to just checking the box that the action was completed.
  • Mutually set goals for each coaching session. What are your employee’s goals for today and how will that impact the business now and throughout the year? Set the expectation that you will spend some time at the beginning of your session together discussing such goals. This means not starting by reviewing sales numbers, who you may be visiting today, and business plans. Rather, create time for having a two-way dialogue with your employee, focusing on them—their wants for achieving their goals—and gaining insight into their thoughts.
This is how you kick off Collaborative Coaching and start transforming the mind-set from a “have-to” to a “get-to.” By including your employee as part of the experience, they’ll feel that you’re truly there for them—and not just because you have to be. The results? Hopefully you’ll have a more positive day, there will be less pressure on both of you, and give your employees increased accountability while they focus on bettering their performance.