Reading Notes:Bringing Science to the Art of Coaching

Jack Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett

Coaching is a new phenominon to hae seriously talked about in the corporate world, so we don’t know much about is scientifically yet. We can look at related fields to get some good practices though:

Does coaching matter?

A review of 360 degree evaluations says that is does. Coaching is directly related to employee satisfaction and inversly related to employee’s thoughts about quitting. Thinking about quitting is the second biggest predictor of whether someone will quit, right behind announcing a resignation.

What makes coaching effective?

Coaching is more effective if you:

  1. Let the coachee choose the topic of discussion
  2. Ask for feedback at the end

This can be a little overwhelming for the coachee, because they may not know what they want to talk about. Giving them a list of topics and asking them to choose the most relevant is a good way to get around this.

Also, coaching, like good interviewing, should focus on specific narratives rather than general ideas- specific, grounded questions are best. Using this questions coaching sessions should go like this:

  1. Frame what you’re going to talk about (with the coachee’s guidance)
  2. Understand where the coachee is now
  3. Explore where the coachee wants to be
  4. Lay out a plan to get there

This spells FUEL, because corporate types like jets and cars and whatnot.

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