Over the years, the number one executive coaching topic is having difficult conversations. These leaders recognized they needed to have the conversation but had put it off. Frequently, their strategy was to delay doing anything—hoping the situation would correct itself. Guess what? It didn’t get better. In fact, it generally got worse!
Coaching for Performance Improvement:
As a young, emerging leader I learned a four-step process to deal with these situations. It was extremely helpful. Later, I developed a better, eight-step process and put it in the context of coaching. I call it: Coaching for Performance Improvement. I had great luck with this process. It includes:
- Describing the Performance Issue
- Exploring the Impacts
- Clarifying Expectations
- Positive and Corrective Consequences
- Action Planning
- Commitment to Action
Tips for success
Be sincere and express your desire to see the individual succeed. Most often, the performance will improve. When it doesn’t, you can spin off into progressive discipline or adverse action. Following the Coaching for Performance Improvement process will have laid a solid foundation for other processes.
I encourage you to reach out to HR to see if their process is different and/or to get input from them in addressing the situation. You want to keep HR involved in the process, if you have the option.
For a more detailed explanation of my eight-step process and how to implement it, download a FREE copy of Coaching for Performance Improvement. This guide provides detailed explanations, sample questions, and a worksheet to help you prepare for a difficult conversation Also, I have included a video that will walk you through each step.