NMK – Political Coaching and Communication - 5 Tips to Coach Effectively

5 Tips to Coach Effectively

We have mentioned previously, with the help of Dave Ulrich's article, that coaching has been frequently misapprehended; correspondingly, misemployed. After defining this concept and determining how to overcome its misuse, it’s time to benefit from Ulrich’s (2008) tips to coach fruitfully.

  • Know why

The first tip to coach is to determine why is the coachee seeking coaching. Indeed, “until there is a need for change, change will not occur.”

The coachee should know why he/she should change in order to accept the fact that change is really needed. One way to do this is by defining the competencies of an executive, allow the coachee to compare his/her skills with the ones stated, and find his/her shortcomings. As a result, the leader will be ready to explore new behaviors that can help him/her fulfill his/her role.  

  • Collect Data

Since people are better at identifying their strengths more than their weaknesses, collecting data from the coachee’s surrounding helps face a true reality. The writer suggests the “Leaders 360” which requires interviewing the leader’s subordinates, peers and supervisors to gather a holistic view of his/her strengths and weaknesses. This technique will help the executive compare his/her self-perception with the perceptions of others.

Another efficient way to collect data is by tracking executive time. This includes keeping a time log of who the coachee spends time with, where he/she spends time, and what issues he/she spends time on. Then, the coach and the coachee should examine the findings to come out with conclusions and determine what improvements or changes should be made.

  • Prioritize

“Not everything worth changing can or should be changed.”

Hereby, the author's third tip to coach ideally is to identify, during the coaching session, one or two essential behaviors that need to be changed the most and that will have the most impact if changed.

  • Be behavioral  

“Abstract goals will result in abstract changes; specific behaviors goals will result in specific changes.”

Try to go deeper by asking the right questions which will help you identify specific behaviors in order to reach an accurate conclusion and do the necessary improvements.

  • Focus on the future more than the past

“Coaching is not therapy.”

Therefore, coaches are not asked to do the job of therapists to focus on behavior change. Behavior coaches are simply required to determine what behaviors are causing dysfunctions. Once discerned, the coach and the coachee should focus on the future and how to improve and behave differently.

Do you want to know more tips on how to coach effectively? Stay tuned for the next blog post!


Ulrich, D. (2008). Coaching for results. Business Strategy Series, 9(3), 104-114. Retrieved from https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/17515630810873320/full/html

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NMK – Political Coaching and Communication

NMK – Political Coaching and Communication - 5 Tips to Coach Effectively