One of the questions I’m often asked by leaders and managers about coaching a team member to improved performance is whether coaching is something that should always be done in private?
It’s an important question to consider because it leads to a critical distinction you need to make in your mind, and apply in your approach to coaching in the workplace, for it to be most effective.
Namely, that coaching is not the same thing as discipline or formal counselling for unacceptable performance or actions. A good leader creates a context where warnings and discipline are rare, but coaching is common.
When you know how to make coaching all members of your team a regular and normal part of your interaction with them, you will be much less likely to need to escalate things to the level of discipline or a formal warning.
If you are regularly coaching even your best employees it becomes a routine part of your whole team’s commitment to continuous improvement to be coached. If everyone expects to be coached and the coaching is done properly and regularly, coaching does not need to be done in private. It is a normal part of everyone’s day. Your employees will appreciate your coaching and respond well to it. It becomes a part of the team culture.
Of course there will always be some matters that may be better handled confidentially. Just as some other interactions with an individual on your team should be confidential, but as a general rule when you have established a receptive team culture and are coaching properly it isn’t something that you need to do in private.
So, learn how to coach properly and establish a receptive context for your coaching and it will not only be more effective, you can do it easily, openly and quickly and still reap fantastic results.