Martin Seminars

12021 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 123  
Los Angeles, CA  90025  
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Coaching Checklist*

Ferdinand Fournies in Coaching for Improved Work Performance details the following coaching steps:

  1. Get agreement that a problem exists and on what the problem is.
  2. Discuss solutions.
  3. Agree to a plan of action.
  4. Follow up on plan implementation.
  5. Praise improvements or schedule more coaching.

Use the following checklist and areas for comments to guide you to more effective coaching:

  • Identify the problem.  Good coaching begins with separating the behavior from the person, and that, in turn, means identifying the cause rather than the effect.  In some cases, it means listening to the employee to discover what obstacles stand in his or her way to optimum performance.

  • Does the worker know that the problem exists?  Sometimes, performance problems exist because the individual worker or workers think their performance is acceptable.  Another possibility is that, although the worker may know that he or she is not performing as expected, the deficiency itself is considered acceptable.  These perceptions often result from too little feedback.

  • Does the worker know what the supervisor's expectations are?   One reason workers don't perform up to a supervisor's expectations is that he or she does not know what those expectations are and, consequently, does not realize that a problem exists.

  • Does the worker know how to meet the supervisor's expectations?   Even when a worker knows what the supervisor's expectations are, he or she may not know what he or she is supposed to do and when to do it.

  • Are there obstacles outside the worker's control that are affecting the worker's performance?  Outside factors can have a direct effect on a worker's performance.  Among these factors are equipment failure, late or incorrect reports or data, conflicting instructions, too many bosses, lack of materials or supplies.

  • Does negative consequence follow good performance?   Unsatisfactory performance may occur because good performance is punished.   This may be hard to recognize, and supervisors often have to take the worker's word for it.  An example of a negative consequence is the secretary who has to accept another secretary's work because he or she finished his or her own tasks early.

  • Does positive consequence follow poor performance?  Similar to the preceding item, the secretary who has part of his or her work taken away is getting rewarded for not getting his or her work accomplished.

  • Could the worker perform to standards if he or she wanted to?   If the answer to this question is "no," the employee should be terminated or transferred.

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* Taken from ASTD's Coaching and Feedback publication