Helpful frameworks for coaching and feedback

I recently completed a manager training with Lifelabs and learnt a few useful tricks for coaching and giving feedback

Coaching someone through a problem

1) Success: Ask what success would look like.

2) Obstacle: Ask them to list out the obstacles that are blocking them.

3) Options: Ask them for possible options to get around the obstacles.

4) Next actions: Ask them for a concrete next step they can take. Ask them when and how you can follow up with them.

It's better if you simply play the role of a guide, listener and reflector to enable the person to think through these on their own. Most people, with some structure, clarity and help, can come up with a good solution for problems at their competency level. For situations that are critical or above the person's current competency level or where you know the right answer, you can step in more.

Giving feedback 

1) Micro-yes: Ask if the person is open to discussing feedback about <observation> (specify X so that the person doesn't get anxious)

2) Data-driven observation: Tell them what you observed. Be specific. ("I noticed that you were not considering your teammate's ideas in the planning meeting")

3) Why it matters: Tell them why you are flagging this issue. The impact could be on the receiver, team, mission, customer. If possible, know what the receiver cares about and tailor to that.

4) Ask them for their thoughts: Ask them to share what they think about the situation and how they can do better.

Feedback conversations are easier when you have built a lot of trust and positivity with the person, so build good relationships!

General listening and conversations tips 

These methods apply to both coaching and feedback frameworks above.

Q-step: Ask questions to really understand the context. Listen to understand rather than to respond.

Playback: Rephrase and summarize what you heard to make sure you got it right. If you don't understand, ask more questions.

Split track: If the person has multiple points to talk about ("I am busy. Sometimes, I don't like what I do"), break it down and ask them which track they'd like to talk about first.