How to Make the Most of a Coachable Moment

Many leaders see coaching as part of their job. The question is, when and how is the best time to do it?

Some management experts see four components to coaching — skill, attitude, relationship, and process.

The skill aspect of coaching involves asking insightful questions, listening, analyzing the problem, and providing good feedback. Attitude is looking at what the employee can achieve. The relationship component involves the trust and rapport between the supervisor and the worker. The process is a description of what occurs through coaching, and the professional growth of the employees.

The Coachable Moment

A coachable moment occurs when the manager can help a person work through a problem or situation they don’t understand or know how to deal with. When you see such a coachable moment, you should take advantage of it by asking the person if they need some help working things through.

A coachable moment can take the form of a more formal meeting, where two people arrange a time and a place to sit down and exchange ideas. Or it can be a more informal kind of thing, an off-the-cuff conversation that takes place in the moment wherever you happen to be.

Some examples of coachable moments are when someone is working through a business issue, when someone is struggling with a problem, when you see an opportunity for professional development when someone is not taking accountability, or even when someone has delivered a great performance.

If you see an opportunity for a coachable moment but are not sure whether it would really be beneficial, think about some of the following issues. Is the person open to learning new insights? Does the person have the authority to make decisions about how to address the problem? Does the person trust you enough to accept your advice without suspecting a hidden agenda?

Another issue to consider is whether to examine the issue immediately or to set up another time to look at the situation more thoroughly.

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