Sometimes, it just takes one question to expose the coaching moment or developmental opportunity. So, why do managers have a tendency to over-engineer something that can be so very simple? Yes, coaching does not have to be difficult! I’ll show you why in this two minute video. Warning! I had fun with the effects when editing this (and no, I’m not yelling, it’s my passion!). It’s a bit cheesy, so focus on the message!
I recently spoke with a manager who told me, “I had this incredibly long list of topics to discuss with one of my salespeople during our one-hour coaching session over the phone, but we only got through the ﬁrst few.”
As much as I wish this to be true, it will take more than one hour to solve world peace and hunger. This holds true for everything on your agenda, and your coachee’s agenda, regardless of how much needs to get done or how many priorities you have. Get real. You’re not solving and tackling every topic through to completion in one hour.
When it comes to a one-to-one scheduled coaching session, it’s a best practice to see one or two topics through to completion, rather than starting ten conversations and getting closure on none. Agenda overload only succeeds at disrupting the focus of your team and creates confusion around what tasks and projects to prioritize.
Coach One Gap at a Time
Here’s my point: If you keep using great coaching questions to continually dig deeper, and go beyond the ﬁrst gap you uncovered, then you’ll keep ﬁnding other coaching moments and gaps that will derail that coaching session.
You have that person’s whole career to develop and support them. After all, great atheletes don’t become elite by practicing just one day a week. They focus on one skill and refine that skill through constant repetition and practice, before mastering the next skill. So, coach one gap at a time through to completion. You and your coachees will find it more valuable, and enjoyable.