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Informal Coaching for Managers


‘Business Coaching For Managers’ drums up images of two people sitting in an office or boardroom environment talking about goals and how they can be achieved. This is very much a formal style of coaching which will be appropriate in certain situations but not so much in another. There are alternatives available. Informal coaching is a much more popular coaching style because it can be done in general conversation on a daily basis. But what makes an informal coaching session really hit its mark? Here are some simple tips that you can implement and use on a day-to-day basis – don’t leave coaching for once a year!

Be Patient & Change Perspective

Take your time and explore what each of your team members is up to. This allows you to identify any informal coaching opportunities. Your most able and talented staff will be those who don’t realise they are overloaded or attempt to juggle complex personal and work demands. These are actually the staff who need support. Try managing your time in a way that gives you space to offer informal coaching so you are ready whenever they need you. Knowing what they do and when will also give you the chance to offer support as and when it is actually needed.

Be Aware Of Moods

With practice, anyone can become an excellent reader of others. It’s simply a case of identifying when the other person is sad, happy, stressed, angry, distracted or in any other emotional state. Knowing these triggers and telltale signs will act as a prompt for an informal coaching session. You will come to learn what your staff think and feel through simple observation, recognising when they will be receptive to coaching and when to step back.

Ask For Permission

The opportunity to Coach may seem perfect but that doesn’t necessarily mean the staff member agrees. They may want to prepare for a meeting with quiet contemplation and may find it confusing to talk through ideas with you. So always ask whether it is a good time for a quick chat about work before diving in.

Coach Means Coach

You aren’t instructing or directing – you are coaching. Advice and direction do not enter into a coaching session. If you utter the words ‘I think’ in your coaching sessions, you aren’t coaching, you’re telling them what is best. Instead ask them questions and reflect on their answers when discussing the situation. Coaching is much more successful if you guide the other person to an answer that suits them rather than simply prescribing a course of action.

Informal Moments For Informal Coaching

Sitting in the break room or passing in corridors is actually the perfect time for informal coaching sessions. Likewise driving to meetings and spare time after meetings all make excellent informal coaching time. While they may seem inconsequential, these small bits of spare time are the perfect length to discuss an issue or two.

Would you like to improve your coaching skills? We offer a range of courses that will help you develop your skill set and inspire your team to greatness.

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