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Example Poor Coaching Techniques

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Adam and Chris from the Division of New Learning at Westminster College demonstrate poor coaching techniques. Can you identify all 18 issues with this example?

Spoiler alert!

18(ish) issues with the coaching session:

The coach forgets the coachee’s name.
Coach interrupts.
The coach has not prepared by reminding himself what they were working on last session.
Something seems to be distracting the coach.
The coach asked Why (why questions put the coachee on the defensive, try framing questions in how, what, where, etc)
When the coach tells the coachee that he’s thinks the problem is insignificant, he’s damaging the relationship by judging. He goes on to make the problem about himself, gives bad advice, and is really mean by saying he’s surprised that the coachee’s at this point in his career without having this skill set (inspired by a true story)
The coach takes a non-emergency call in the middle of the session.
The feedback and congratulations are insincere.
The task the coachee is given to read the book wasn’t asked for and isn’t on his agenda.
The coach says “Let me know if I can do anything.” This phrase has two issues: It creates a false sense of completion and it places all of the responsibility for contact on the coachee.
Finally the coach doesn’t facilitate the creation of goals or commitment from the coachee.

Those were the issues purposely scripted into the example. Do you see more?


ChibiYotsuba says:

I love how “Let me know if I can do anything” is considered wrong here. If
I’m experiencing stress, but don’t know why, my therapist keeps telling me
that if there’s no clearly stated question for what kind of help I want,
she can’t help me. “Help me with my stress” isn’t clear enough for her.
I’ve told my therapist that if I knew the source, I’d solve it, but that I
needed her help to find the source. She told me people who came into her
office usually knew their problem and what they needed to fix it, but just
needed a little push. She was waiting for that.
This, to me, is basically the same as “let me know if I can do anything”
and added to that “also let me know what it is that I should be doing”.
(I’m not receiving therapy from her anymore)

Alu Urbano says:

Hi Chris! This is indeed a great demo! May I please use this for my
upcoming Training too? 🙂 

Lijun Cui says:

What a hell

Chris Hoffman says:

Hi Dona, Sorry for the delay. Feel free to show this video during your
training. We’re happy that it’s useful.

Frank Sirmarco says:

Part 2: 1:31-1:40 Makes a unqualified, demotivating assessment of learner
1:41-1:45 Insinuates “his” way is the only/best way 1:47-1:52 Shakes head
“no” when asking about desire for promotion – not providing positive
reinforcement 1:55-2:15 Takes call during session 2:16-2:22 Attempts to
provide positive reinforcement for an answer he didn’t hear. 2:23-2:28
Chewing on pen while talking 2:29-2:32 Uses “We” initially. Does not take
ownership of the coaching.

Dirk Anthony says:

Hi Chris this is a really useful demonstration can I show it at a training
session I’m doing in Africa in a few weeks? It’s for radio guys helping
them see how their on and off air talent feel!

Frank Sirmarco says:

Part 3: 2:33-2:45 Gives the learner a book to read, then discusses terms of
payment. 2:46-3:01 Cuts meeting short. Doesn’t ask for questions. Gets name
of sports team wrong. 3:02-end Doesn’t say goodbye, doesn’t offer a
handshake, and doesn’t make eye-contact.

Frank Sirmarco says:

I would like to use this for a training session, as well. I have gone
through and identified what I believe the examples of poor coaching are.
What do you feel are the 18 issues with the example?

Reality Training TV says:

Great fun and very useful thank you for making this video.

Dona Fajardo says:

hi, i would like to ask your permission if we can use your video for
educational purposes for a coaching program that we are running at JP
Morgan Chase & Co.? thank you.

Chris Hoffman says:

Good luck in your training! I’ve added the issues we scripted into the
scene on purpose to the video description. Which ones did you find?

Frank Sirmarco says:

I’ll do this without looking at your notes: :26 The coach doesn’t know who
he’s meeting with :32 Interrupts the learner :37 Keeps referencing notes
:45 Interrupts the learner :53 Doesn’t remember the last session’s topics
1:05-1:08 No eye-contact – seems disinterested 1:14-1:16 Interrupts learner
– offers non-constructive criticism 1:18-1:30 Dismisses learner’s
explanation – offers poor alternative, which advises learner to not
follow-up on delegation

Chris Hoffman says:

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