A Better Way to Offer Feedback and Coaching to Your Employees

Jan 19, 2023
Coaching Employee Meeting

Have an issue to address with an employee but not sure how to broach the topic?

Try starting these types of conversations with more of a "How are things going?" employee coaching style opening question. It paves the way for a more open and productive communication…

See how the other person responds… and PAUSE after they respond. This pause can be so POWERFUL! Often they will share more if you wait a few seconds… silence makes many people want to fill the space...

Depending on if they share more, you can try following with phrases and words like, "Thanks for sharing this with me. Can you tell me more about that?"

You want the other person to feel comfortable to share – and create a feeling of safety.

You may be surprised what they bring up and solutions they come to on their own using this coaching and questions format.

Here’s an example to give this more context:

Let’s say a manager has concerns regarding an employee of theirs who gave an internal presentation earlier that day. The employee was inexperienced with giving presentations, but wanted to give it a shot and their manager was supportive. The manager was not present for the presentation and heard from others that it did not go well.

Here is a sample script of how this could be handled:

Manager: “Hey Sarah, how did the presentation go today?”

Sarah: “Fine, why?”

Manager: “Well, I’m just curious how you felt since you have not given a lot of these types of presentations. How was it received?”

Sarah: “I said it went fine, why?”

Manager: [PAUSE]

Sarah: “Well, maybe it didn’t go fine, but it was ok. There were a lot of annoying questions which were really distracting, but it went ok.”

Manager: “Can you tell me more about the kind of annoying questions you are referring to?”

Sarah: “They asked questions about parts of the presentation I hadn’t gotten to yet and some asked questions about things I just shared – it was very annoying and distracting – and I got really frustrated.”

Manager: “Ugh, that can be frustrating when someone asks a question about something that you are getting to later in the presentation, and when they ask a question about something you already presented.” [PAUSE]

Sarah: “Yeah. Super annoying.”


Sarah: “I probably could have handled it better, but it was super annoying.”

Manager: “How do you think you could have handled it better?”

Sarah: “I could have controlled my reaction, I guess, and more calmly asked them to sidebar with me after so I can get through all the material.”

Manager: “That is a great idea. Any other thoughts?”

From there, the manager can probe a bit more, using questions, and be able to even share some feedback because he has established safety in the conversation.

Try it – and let us know how it goes! [email protected]

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