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[INFOGRAPHIC] Follow the COACH Framework

The best coaches communicate in a way that encourages people to remain open to coaching and willing to take action based on feedback. By following the five clearly defined steps of the C.O.A.C.H. framework—connect, observe, assess, clarify, and how-to—organizational leaders can begin to achieve coaching effectiveness with individuals at any level and in any role.


COACH Framework-01

Learn how to coach employees in-person and virtually with the help of this  guide written for leaders.


1. C - Connect and Communicate

Before giving feedback, you’ll need to first communicate with empathy and make a connection with the individual you’re coaching to show you care. Before they will be receptive to the coaching, they need to know their coach is committed to their personal growth and development and wants to see them succeed. Leader coaches can demonstrate a desire to connect and communicate by:

          • Using active listening techniques, such as asking clarifying questions and inviting conversation about an individual’s experiences at work.
          • Establishing trust by discussing their career goals and aspirations.
          • Being positive and balanced, so that coaching is constructive and can be and can be delivered without putting the employee on the defensive.


2. O - Observe

Excellent coaches watch and pay attention to facts and results. They observe individual behavior in team meetings, with clients, and one on one. When you’ve had the benefit of observing individuals at work, you can use examples of what they did in a certain situation to help explain alternate ways of handling a similar situation in the future.


3. A - Assess

Key to any solid coaching relationship is a coach who takes the time to fully understand actual performance versus expectations. Feedback compiled from a variety of sources will help to form a clear picture of individual performance and where it needs to change to ensure an improved outcome. A coach must review observations and feedback with the individual being coached to help build an understanding of the behaviors that need to change. There is a range of tools that can help to assess employee behavior, such as:

          • 360-degree or 180-degree feedback tools
          • Multi-rater behavior assessments
          • Questionnaires and surveys


4. C - Clarify

Clear feedback is necessary for individuals to know what to change and what to keep doing. Coaches provide clarity by discussing and reviewing with employees the gap between performance expectations and actual performance. They provide detailed examples of alternative behaviors that employees can try in different situations. Effective coaching isn’t about telling employees what to do in every possible scenario, but giving clear feedback that helps them identify an ideal solution. Other activities that can bring greater clarity to performance expectations include targeted training and experiential learning exercises that offer chances to learn by doing.


5. H - How-to (Explain)

Coaching provides the know-how to bring actual performance to an expected level. By explaining how to accelerate performance improvement, coaching provides individuals with a roadmap for how to apply new behaviors and skills in the workplace. Another way that coaches explain desired behavior is through their own example. When people see how certain behaviors play out in real time, they are more likely to develop a concrete understanding of what success looks like in practice.


Ask Questions

Ideally, when coaching, you will allow time for some form of question and answer session or opportunity for dialogue. People tend to better absorb information when they have a chance to discuss among themselves, or generally “mull it over” together. So for maximum effectiveness, ask questions during moments of coaching to ensure clarity and alignment.


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