There's so many articles about the positive impact that regular and intentional employee coaching has on both performance outcomes and morale. Last week, I shared with my leadership team the importance of taking 10-15 minutes to prepare prior to the coaching session.
This is what I do.
Prepare the environment. I tidy my desk and ensure nothing confidential is on my computer screen. I also diffuse essential oils. Especially when preparing to have difficult conversations, I choose oils that will put (us both) in a positive frame of mind. My favorite oil blend to diffuse lately have been 3 drops bergamot and 1 drop jasmine. During the winter season, I used a holiday blend and added On Guard from DoTerra to keep the germs away.
Move away from behind your desk. I set my office up so that I am never talking to someone from behind the desk. Especially when I am in a coaching session, and even more so when I am having "disciplinary" type dialogue, I sit in a chair at a 90 degree angle to my staff. These chairs were from Ross and were very reasonably priced. I also leave my cell phone at my desk so that I am not tempted to peek at who is calling or texting. I do not answer my office line when I am meeting with staff.
Review their personality type and communication style. Prepare to speak their language! I love the MBTI resources provided at 16personalities.com. Remember, no two employees are alike and your approach needs to fit their style.
Review the document or notes from your last session. Be prepared to ask questions about their progress towards documented goals. If you are doing quality assurance checks on their work, review a recent sample.
Prepare the form. Fill out your sections of feedback before hand so that you are not writing or typing during the meeting. Spend some time reflecting on what they have done well and what areas of concern you may have. Jot down a few open ended questions that will allow for deeper conversation about their concerns, ideas, and job satisfaction. If you don't have a form, email me! I'd love to share a simple form that I designed.
By taking a few minutes to prepare, your coaching session will be much more effective, impactful, and genuine.