10 Principles of Great Coaching

Posted in : Coaching in the Moment on 6 November 2019
Karl O'Connor
OCN Coaching Champions Ltd
Issues covered:

Coaching for Line Managers was rated as the second HR priority, after employee engagement, over the next two years by over 500 respondents to the CIPD 2019 survey of HR Practices in Ireland.  

But what does good or great line manager coaching look like? Based on our ongoing work with line managers, CEOs and HR departments, we have set out a sample checklist below to help you answer this important line manager coaching question.

Coaching in the Moment

The Challenge

What does great line manager coaching look like?

The Solution

Use the 10 Principles of Coaching Checklist to evaluate your own coaching and other line manager coaches. Ask the Coachee what works for them? Seek feedback on any areas for improvement.

Takeaway Actions

Make coaching reviews part of your Best Practice using the 10 Principles of Great Coaching to design a checklist for your and other line manager coaches.

Encourage open discussion between Coaches and Coachees to review what is working and what could be better.

Line Manager as Coach checklist:

The following checklist captures the Top Ten Principles of Effective Coaching.

Goal(s): What are the goal(s) of the coaching? Is it 1:1 coaching, and, or Team coaching? What areas or skills are you trying to improve? Examples: Career planning, Skill development such as delegation, service, sales, time management, change management etc, Team performance.

Vision and Values: What is the linkage between your coaching and the organisation’s Vision, Values and manager competencies?

Plan: Is there a coaching plan agreed between Coach and Coachee? Example: Will coaching be formal, informal? How regular will coaching take place – daily, weekly, bi-weekly? What is the role of the Coach and the Coachee? For example, the Coach will ask questions and share observations while the Coachee will need to take responsibility for agreed actions.

Communications: Have you communicated with the Coachee(s) that you will be using coaching to help them develop on the job? Have you explained what coaching means for them and the benefits of coaching?

Trust: Is there a positive relationship with the Coachee/staff member? How can you build trust? Do you review the positives first and then explore how you and the Coachee can be more effective?

Tool(s): What are the coaching tool(s) that you use e.g. GROW, Appreciative Inquiry, Feedforward?

See previous Coaching in the Moment blogs:

Coaching High Achievers Gets Results

How to Move from Feedback to Feedforward and Reap the Rewards


How well did you use them? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being excellent, how would you rate your use of the tool in a particular coaching session? What could make it a 10 rating?

80:20 rule: Do you follow the 80:20 rule of asking questions and letting the Coachee or Team do most of the talking? How can you use questions more to help diagnose the issue, generate ideas and commitments?

Coach Log: Do you use a Coach Log to capture outputs, agreed actions? Who completes it: the Coach or Coachee?

Review : Are key learnings from the previous coaching session followed up? What is the evidence of progress? What still needs to happen? What support do you need to provide as the line manager, if any?

Any other Observations: Ask your Coachee what worked for them as a result of your line manager coaching? What can you do to help them to become even better? You can also seek feedback from your own line manager where they have observed your coaching.

Line manager coaching is becoming more the norm across all organisations - private, public and charities. Practice makes perfect. Use this checklist or develop your own to review what is working for you and what could be even better.

Remember, no line manager is so good at coaching that they cannot get better!

This article is correct at 06/11/2019

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Karl O'Connor
OCN Coaching Champions Ltd

The main content of this article was provided by Karl O'Connor. Email karloconnor0@gmail.com

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