Many business leaders struggle with the coachability of their employees. However, psychological experts have discovered that avoiding person-centered feedback can increase the receptiveness of the person receiving feedback.
Of course, there are many techniques you can use to improve coachability in the workplace. With the right techniques, you may find that your employees are more responsive and start implementing your advice.
So how can you give feedback that positively influences your employees' coachability? Read on to learn all about the most important techniques to apply to help people effectively receive coaching!
1. Focus on the problem rather than the person
Some people ask, "What is coachable?" To be coachable simply means that you listen to quality advice when it is presented to you.
One of the best ways to help employees be coachable is by coaching them about the situation rather than about themselves. When you criticize people personally, it can make them extremely defensive. After all, if they accept that your criticism is correct, they have to confront the fact that they are flawed.
It is much easier to receive criticism when it is about something less sensitive. That means that employers may find that their employees are much more coachable if they talk to their employees about specific actions and situations.
Think about it this way. Instead of you and your employee going head to head talking about whether or not they have flaws, you are standing side-by-side. You are looking together at a situation and collaboratively trying to figure out how to improve it.
This way of thinking can help your employees be much more coachable.
2. Be as specific as possible
Specificity is extremely powerful when it comes to giving feedback. People are much more coachable when they understand exactly what you are asking from them. If all they can tell is that you are dissatisfied in some way, they may feel confused and resistant.
To solve this problem, be as specific as possible when giving feedback. In fact, it might even be best to avoid giving feedback at all unless you can be extremely specific.
Sometimes, that means limiting the amount of feedback you give in a given conversation. Stick with the things you can be extremely specific about. Make sure to work out in advance the exact request that you would like your employee to comply with.
It is also often best to limit your criticism to one thing at a time. If you need to give feedback to an employee about many things, you can give them some time between each session of feedback. That way, you can confirm that they are coachable and improving before trying to add more things to their plate.
After all, there is no point in providing feedback if they are not going to follow it. There is also no point in providing feedback about many things if the employee cannot remember them all.
These strategies can help your employee understand exactly what is expected of them. That can make them less resistant and more coachable.
3. Make sure to give positive employee feedback
Employees are much more coachable when they receive positive feedback from time to time. Ideally, employers will occasionally call their employees to give them nothing but positive feedback. That way, if they need to call them in later for negative feedback, the employee won't feel like their employer only sees the negative aspects of their performance.
If necessary, you can give positive and negative feedback in the same conversation. However, you have to be careful with this. Don't make up positive feedback just to try to soften the blow of your negative feedback.
4. Avoid insincerity
There are many techniques that people use to try to soften the blow of negative feedback. However, it is important not to use these techniques indiscriminately. Many of them only work if your delivery is sincere and impeccable.
If you're not sure that you can make a particular technique work perfectly, it is often best to avoid using it at all. For example, some people might think it is a good idea to cite concern about the employee's well-being as the primary reason they are giving them negative feedback. However, employees are often justifiably suspicious of these kinds of expressions.
Some employers develop a well-earned reputation over time for genuinely caring about the well-being of their employees. However, if they do not have that reputation, these kinds of expressions may fail.
These kinds of moves are not costless when they fail. Instead, they often make things worse than if you had simply avoided using them at all.
That is why simplicity is often the right move when it comes to giving feedback. You can simply tell the employee that there is some way that you would like them to improve.
If there are any incentives for them to comply, you can mention them. If you will be tracking their performance in the future, it might be important to tell them that. That way, they will know whether or not there is any chance of them getting away with not being coachable.
In short, it may make sense to mention the relevant facts of the situation. But it might be best to avoid trying to add more complicated techniques to your feedback unless you are sure you can pull them off effectively.
5. Give feedback about employee performance at the right time
Sometimes, an employer gives feedback in the perfect way except that they pick the wrong time. If an employee is having a bad day, it may be difficult for them to be coachable no matter how well you provide them with feedback.
An employee might also be struggling to meet a certain deadline. Adding negative feedback to the stress of the situation might make them very unreceptive.
If at all possible, wait until the right time before you give feedback.
Sometimes, it might feel urgent for an employee to know that they need to improve. However, giving feedback at the wrong time may not mean that they improve at all. It may mean that they are less coachable.
Understand the most powerful ways to improve workplace coachability
We hope learning about the best ways to influence coachability in your workplace has been helpful for you. Many people are frustrated because they know exactly how their employees could behave so as to improve their performance. Their main struggle is figuring out how to get their employees to follow their advice.
That is exactly where learning more about coachability comes in handy. A better understanding of coachability can mean enjoying receptive employees who rapidly improve in performance. To learn more about how to influence coachability via 1:1s, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!