- Describe for the coachee what you are about to show them and how you will do it. Explain when this task would be performed.
- Show the coachee, step by step, how to perform the task and repeat steps if necessary.
- Allow the coachee to perform the task with your guidance.
Coaching others in the workplace often involves showing them how to do a task. As a coach you may have the necessary on-the-job experience to explain and demonstrate the task yourself or you may arrange for the coachee to spend time with a suitably qualified colleague. The combination of listening and watching makes demonstrating a powerful way of helping the coachee, particularly when it is followed up by practice.
When you are explaining the process, provide the rationale and discuss supporting work procedures and related health and safety issues. When you are demonstrating, be sure to pace it according to the needs of the coachee. Pause to check they understand each step before continuing to the next, and give them ample opportunity to ask questions and perhaps take notes. Also volunteer to repeat steps or explanations and vary your approach if the coachee is having difficulty.
During a demonstration the coachee observes the process. The next step is to provide them with the opportunity to practise so they actually perform the task. Doing it themselves will consolidate the learning gained from watching and listening to the demonstration. The appropriate level of support will depend on the complexity of the task and the confidence of the learner.
Take a look at this typical workplace coaching exchange and listen to the coachee’s feedback. What would you do differently if you were the coach?
Common coaching scenario