zandax online course logo
zandax website search
zandax phone callback
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

9 Coaching Tips to Get Better Results

From the ZandaX Training And Coaching Blog

Articles to help you to become a better trainer and coach

Home  >  ZandaX Blogs  >  Management Blog  >  Training and Coaching Articles  > 
9 Coaching Tips to Get Better Results

9 Coaching Tips to Get Better Results

A post from our Training and Coaching blog

Article author: Jordan James
      Written by Jordan James
In any business, it's the few high performers that are responsible for the big results: they're the innovators, the decision makers, the fixers and the profit centres. So how can businesses squeeze more performance out of these top managers and executives? The answer is coaching.

Many HR professionals view coaching as essentially the same thing as training. In reality, however, there are some very clear differences between the two. As a rule, coaching is best suited to managers and executives who have advanced beyond the need for general group trainings.
Group Training
These people benefit greatly from personalised attention from a skilled coach – someone who can identify their strengths and weaknesses, and help them close their personal skill gaps. The following coaching tips will help you get better results when working with senior staff.

1. Define the coaching relationship

Every coaching scenario is different. It is crucial that you define the coaching relationship from the outset. Is the coach expected to provide comprehensive feedback? Is their role to listen and act as a "mirror", allowing executives to identify their own skills needs and facilitate self-learning? Or is the coach there in a more casual capacity, providing tips and suggestions as a friend might?

When the coaching relationship is defined at the outset, expectations are clearly set for both parties and things can progress smoothly.

2. Understand the gaps

Performance coaching assumes that there is some weakness that needs to be improved on. So, what does that weakness look like? What are the gaps that are causing the individual to fail in certain environments, or on certain tasks?

Without getting to the bottom of this fundamental question, it's very difficult to coach someone to become better.

Often, the best way to home in on the core issues is to do a skills gap analysis, via a competency-based interview process. This involves having a full and frank discussion about past successes and failures in a non-threatening environment. It can help to do this outside the office – a casual, social setting like a café can help executives relax and open up more.

3. Coach KSATs, not just skills

An effective coach understands that performance is based on Knowledge, Skill, Attitudes and Traits. If you only train employees' skills, then you are missing the other crucial factors that fuel performance.


Helping executives with Knowledge acquisition may be as simple as providing resources or pointing them in the right direction of the needed information.


Training Attitudes is a little more involved. Attitudes are the product of past experience, and are manifest in the executive's self-talk and "lenses" through which they perceive situations. It may be that their attitudes are already optimal for their role... but don't count on it.

Coaches can shift attitudes with time and effort – once a dysfunctional attitude has been identified, it can help to challenge assumptions or provide other, more empowering interpretations that the executive could take on instead. This work is slow going, but it's worth it.


Traits are defined as deeply engrained aspects of personality. You can't train someone to have different Traits, but you can train someone to understand themselves better, and how their Traits affect their performance. Helping managers gain these self-insights greatly improves their understanding of people in general - enabling them to be a more influential and effective manager.

4. Listen for the tell-tale signs

Self-talk is the window to understanding mental baggage. If someone you are coaching is struggling, the root cause may lie past experience, which is creating mental barriers to performance. As you go through the coaching process, listen for negative comments and resistance. These can point you towards mental thought patterns that need to be reshaped.
Mental Thought Patterns

5. Keep coaching relevant where possible

Coaching can get into abstract territory when you are trying to create new habits or fine-tune skills. The human brain learns most optimally in high-relevance situations. Repeated psychological experiments have found that recall of information is best when the retrieval process is done in the same physical environment that the learning took place in.

When coaching new behaviour, do it in the same place that person will be performing the task in a real situation.

When they pick up the phone in a role play during you're coaching session, they will be picking up the same phone that they will be using the next day. Make sure you have their undivided attention during coaching though - If this is not possible, then choose another venue.

6. Facilitate, don't impose

Coaches must be careful not to overstep their roles: they should refrain from trying control the manager or the situation. Coaching works best when it facilitates - that is, when it enables the manager to find solutions to their problems.

Good coaches find ways for their clients to work things out, rather than telling them what they should know. A great coach draws potential out of people. Remember, most managers already have strong opinions on how things should be done – forcing a new approach on them can lead to a clash of cognitive frames, and this can end in frustration or conflict.  Instead, guide them to find better ways of doing things on their own.

7. Respect their time

Every moment you are spending coaching, the person you're coaching is away from their role in the business. Coaches need to be sure not to let sessions overrun, and respect the fact that managers have other important things that they need to attend to.

Be realistic though. If the 60-minute session is not sufficient to cover the material you want to cover, then speak to them ahead of the meeting and negotiate extra time for the session. It's better to reschedule for a longer session than to try and cram it all in and fail.

8. Address one problem at a time

It can be tempting to tackle huge issues in one go. Generally though, silver-bullet solutions to thorny issues just don't stick in the long-term. When the manager has a big issue such as time management or leadership, coaches should tackle it in bite-size chunks.

By looking at different behaviours and situations in turn, you can identify the specific cognitions and habits that add up to the macro issue. These individual elements can be addressed one at a time, and you can incrementally move the manager towards higher performance.

9. Sharpen your listening skills

A good coach is by necessity a good listener. Coaches that are good listeners tend to synchronise with the person they are coaching, and a shared cognitive frame develops. A skilled coach is able to help the learner to use this "third mind" as a resource in coaching sessions.

Part of what makes coaching so interesting is that it's different with every learner. However, the underlying principles of coaching always apply.

The coach is there to help the individual draw the answers out of themselves, by providing an environment for self-discovery. Great coaches direct their learners to powerful resources, guide them, but never impose their will upon them.

Do you have any other coaching tips that you would add to this list? Let us know!

Back to the Training and Coaching blog

Click the button for more Training and Coaching articles.

The ZandaX Leadership & Management blog

Click a panel for great articles on leadership & management

Write For Us

We pride ourselves on our busy, high-quality and helpful blog, and we're always looking for guest contributors to increase the variety and diversity of what we present.

Click to see how you can write for us with an original and well-written guest post.

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Service & Support
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2023
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Develop Your Skills, Knowledge and Understanding with ZandaX
Click any subject in the listings for more information and a full list of courses

Personal Development
Personal Development training
Your soft skills affect everything you do, at work, at home and with friends ... they are truly life changing!
Online training courses
Hot Off the Press...
We're always adding to and upgrading our courses, so here are a few of our latest releases:
For a full listing of courses, please visit our Quick Course Finder to find exactly what you want.
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this