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Performance Coaching: The three biggest mistakes employers make

by , 19 May 2016
Performance coaching and counselling is a useful tool for any employer as it has the ability to encourage and motivate your employees, which in turn can increase overall productivity in the workplace.

But even though that's the case, many employers don't make use of it. Instead, they use management styles which are counter-productive, as will be seen in this article.

So to help you avoid being one of those employers, here are the two biggest performance coaching mistakes employers make, along with tips on how to avoid it...

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These are the two biggest performance coaching mistakes employers make…

Mistake#1: Ineffective questions

The first stage of performance coaching is to gather information of the situation. And to do that, the employer would start by asking questions.

However, the type of questions you ask, and the way in which you ask them can make all the difference.

Asking an employer close-ended and direct and probing questions can make an employee feel very uncomfortable and even more demotivated, which can defeat the whole point of performance coaching.


Develop your ability to ask effective questions, so you can:

·         Get your employees to relax, open up and talk to you;

·         Help your employees  find  answers for themselves;

·         Encourage thinking, as well as learning;

·         Make use of your employees' ideas, opinions and recommendations, etc.
When asking questions:

·         Ask mostly open-ended questions;

·         Ask a few closed questions, but only when you need to direct the conversation;

·         Avoid questions that  are probing;

·         Avoid asking 'Why?', because it has the potential to incite defensive behaviour. Instead, try phrasing as such: 'Why do you say so/What are your reasons for that?' etc.

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MISTAKE#2: Not listening

Many employers don't really listen to what's being said, and they don't even try to understand things from the employee's point of view.

This is not a good thing if you're trying to make the most out of performance coaching.


Focus on listening very well. Try to understand where the employee is coming from, as doing this can greatly enhance trust, openness and mutual respect between the two of you.

REMEMBER: Active listening has the following three characteristics:

·         It doesn't judge what is being said;
·         It clarifies on information you're not sure of; and
·         It responds in ways that encourage further communication;

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