Leader's Mindset Series -101 | Coaching for Performance

Coaching brings together a collection of skills and techniques that promote, reflect, and influence professional competencies and their use in practice. Effective leaders leverage coaching as a powerful tool to facilitate learning, increase alignment of work with goals, engagement and drive performance within a team.

Common Mindset: Coaching is just like teaching.

Leader’s Mindset: Coaching is not teaching. Coaching is an opportunity to uncover  

                                 insights and support teams to navigate through their challenges, and 
                                 drive collaboration, excellence and performance.

New or experienced leader, there has to be continuous evaluation of self as a coach to enhance your coaching skills every single time you offer coaching. 

Key Steps for Coaching a Team Member

Follow the steps as you coach a team member using insightful probing questions. To enhance your own skills as a coach, evaluate yourself using the evaluation questions at different steps.


Help the coachee establish a goal or ideal outcome. It may help to ensure the goal is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Provide an opportunity-mindset than a problem-mindset.

Sample Questions to Ask:
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What’s the most important priority for you to focus on at this point?
  • What will be different when you achieve this goal?
Questions to Evaluate Yourself as a Coach
  • Did the coachee articulate a S.M.A.R.T goal?
  • Was I opportunity-focused rather than problem-focused?
  • What worked during this session?
  • What didn’t?
  • Did I explore all relevant issues?
  • Did I ask specific questions?

Work with the coachee to generate a list of ideas for attaining the goal by asking open-ended questions. Let the coachee come up with suggestions on their own, than rely on your suggestions.

Sample Questions to Ask:

  • What’s your opinion on how to handle this situation?
  • What can you do to achieve this goal?
  • What ideas can you bring from your past successes that are relevant for this situation?
  • What haven’t you tried yet?
  • What else?

Questions to Evaluate Yourself as a Coach
  • Was the coachee able to come up with good options themselves? 
  • Did I give too much advice? 
  • What worked well in this stage? 
  • What didn’t?


  • Help the coachee use the best ideas to create an action plan to achieve the goal.
  • Solicit coachee’s agreement and commitment on the specific actions.
  • Decide on the success criteria together.
Sample Questions to Ask:

  • What’s the first thing that you think you should do? What else?
  • When do you plan to do it?
  • Who do you need to involve?
  • What resources would you require?
  • What does success look like?
Questions to Evaluate Yourself as a Coach

  • Did the coachee decide on a specific plan of action?
  • Did the coachee take ownership of the plan of action?
  • Did I empower the coachee with enough authority to get the job done?
  • What worked well? What didn’t?

  • Offer support in the implementation of the action plan.
  • Be an accountability partner for your team member.
  • Create conditions that help the team member reach the goal.
  • Provide ample feedback regularly and reinforce progress.
  • Provide encouragement and celebrate small successes on the way.
Sample Questions to Ask:

  • What do you feel you’re learning through this action plan/project?
  • What aspects of the learning do you enjoy the most?
  • How about we take a few minutes to brainstorm ways for you to do more of those things in the future?
  • How else can I support you in your efforts?
  • What additional information or resources do you need from me?

Questions to Evaluate Yourself as a Coach

  • Have I been able to offer timely and regular support and feedback to my team member?
  • Have I created appropriate conditions for my team member to achieve the goal from a leadership stance that is equitable and drives excellence?
Coaching involves meaningful conversations and many a times critical conversations. Get your bite-sized learning about how to have critical conversations by clicking here.

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Sahil Sharma
Talent, Learning & Leadership Development Professional | Certified Leadership Coach

For consultation and services, contact us at www.ledxlearning.com