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Straight from the field – coaching tips for the office

August 16, 2013

Daily ReadStraight from the field – coaching tips for the office

A performance review with an employee is much like a post-game talk, but for some reason, most people equate feedback with negativity. Most of us are usually never taught how to give feedback in a welcoming way, yet we know how to receive constructive criticism in other areas of our lives and actually appreciate it. Out of the office, and onto the field usually have a different view. No matter what sport you played growing up, you had a coach who told you what you were doing right and wrong, so that you could improve upon it. A good coach constantly gave you feedback and you appreciated it because you wanted to get better in order to win. So how do you take the coaching approach off the field and into the office?

  1. Define the goal. Feedback works so well in competition because the common goal — to win — outweighs the coach’s discomfort in giving criticism and the player’s discomfort in receiving it. The key is to find out what goal each person has that benefits both the individual and the company. Agree to work together to help them achieve it.
  2. Set feedback expectations early and often. Once a goal has been defined, set the expectation that employees will receive informal performance feedback. You can give feedback as often as daily for someone in a new role to monthly for a veteran.
  3. Start every discussion with the goal. Start every feedback discussion with the employee’s bigger picture: “John, I have some suggestions to help you achieve your goal of $1 million in sales.” By making the conversation about the employee’s goal, your critique lays the groundwork for a welcome conversation instead of a confrontational one.

Coaching feedback helps competitors win medals and trophies, so there’s no reason it can’t help you and your employees achieve business success.

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