You've coached your Team Member, now what?

When you’ve had a coaching session, it can be tempting to think that your work is over until the next session.

Yet it can be the action that you take between sessions which contributes to effective change for your team member (or coachee) as well as the continual improvement of your own coaching practice.

In the HBR Guide + Tools to Coaching Employees: Your Coaching Is Only as Good as Your Follow-Up Skills, they recommend the following practices:

  • Straight after the session, write things down. You wont remember everything and its important to keep track of your coachees progress. Your notes will help you remember important points between sessions as well as remind you of the action they’ve committed to undertake.
  • As required, follow-up on your agreements. Make sure you’ve undertaken the actions you promised in your sessions.
  • Throughout your coaching program, look for signs of growth (even if they are not mentioned by your coachee they might not recognise that they are changing) and communicate these. Knowing that they are making progress will increase their motivation and satisfaction.
  • Notice any changes in the relationship and, if problematic or worrying, get onto them early.
  • Continue evaluating yourself are you meeting the needs of your coachee? As coaching is a two-way street, are you holding up your end?

In my own experience, I would add:

  • Check-in between sessions by email, text or phone to see how the coachee is going with the agreed actions.  Accountability is a critical aspect of coaching the coachee doing what they say they will do and the coach holding the coachee accountable for this.  
  • If you can, do your notes during the coaching session.  I find I don’t have to write a lot of words to capture the essence and act as a reminder of what was discussed.
  • Be coached regularly!  I believe that having an on-going experience of being coached is essential in being an effective coach.  This is commonly referred to as coaching supervision and is offered in most contemporary coaching programs.

What strategies and practices work for you between coaching sessions?

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