Taking the time to praise and doing so in a genuine and impactful way helps ensures ROI on your coaching time investment, because, if a person FEELS good, AND they know exactly what behaviors are being praised, they will typically WANT to repeat them in order to get more praise!
Start with an Observation Statement : I heard/I noticed/I observed/I felt
State the topic (WHAT) of the strength: Names/labels let you discuss using common language
Add context to clarify: Dates, frequencies/quantities, amounts up/down, customer scenario
Add Power Words or Emphatic Phrases to communicate value: “I so enjoyed when you…” “I love that you said ”… “Many people struggle with this, but you do a beautiful job of…..”
Provide the specific behaviors/verbatims (HOW/PROOF) of what was said and/or done: So they know exactly HOW they did “it” well and therefore, know what to repeat.
When Should I Praise?
BEFORE discussing what needs work. Bank some emotional equity before taking out withdrawals with corrective conversation!
What Should I Praise?
Praise is warranted any time there is ANY increment of effort towards the desired behaviors, even if the desired outcome is not yet attained. If we fail to observe and acknowledge effort, the effort will not be sustained!
"It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be progress!" "What we reinforce, the repeat!"
Avoid calling these ‘negatives’ or ‘weaknesses’…instead, use ‘opportunities’ and/or ‘things that we can improve’ in order to keep the focus on ineffective behaviors, which can be changed, vs. the person, which cannot be changed. Also focus on BEHAVIOR; avoid ‘YOU’ at the start of your statements.
Start with an Observation Statement: I heard/didn’t hear, I saw/didn’t see
State the opportunity topic (WHAT): “I did not hear/did not see [topic], or, I did not hear/see an effective [topic]
Add Context to clarify: Dates, Frequencies/Quantities, Amounts up/down, Customer Scenario
Provide the specific behavior example/verbatim (HOW/PROOF) of what WAS said/done: So they know exactly what was absent/ineffective, and, so your input is credible and does not invite debate
Ask questions to start discussion and make people think and participate: This is the coaching!
Impact questions ask about consequence, outcome, or result of an action/decision:
When we do/don’t do ____________, what is the impact to __________?
How do you think the customer feels when we _________?
Importance questions ask about the benefit, value, or reason:
Why is it important to/not to ____________?
Why do you think I’m pointing this out as an opportunity area?
Skills-assessment questions assess understanding of a skill:
Tell me what makes up a good ___________?
How would you define________?
Ask a causal question (why something happened or why a thing was chosen):