How to Coach Your Employees for Success

Posted: Aug. 3, 2023, 3 p.m.

I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of coaching your employees but, let’s dive more into the how of it. 

One area that I've seen a lot of managers and leaders go wrong in their coaching is that they don't have a specific methodology – instead they just shoot from the hip. If you take the time to put specific steps in place and have some structure around coaching, you are much more likely to be successful. 

Structure allows your team to have a better idea of what's expected of them and to identify more opportunities for success to reach their goals. Here is the framework I use to structure my coaching: GROW.

The letters stand for: Goal Reality Options Way Forward.  I've also heard Opportunities or Obstacles instead of Options, and Will instead of Way Forward. What you call each step is less important than finding a structure that works for you and sticking to it. 


Sit down with your employee and go over their goals - what do they want to achieve? Where are they trying to get to? Remember here though that it is not only about their personal goals, these should be couched within organizational needs and team needs as well. 

Part of the idea of coaching is to also make sure your team is supporting the organization. Some of the things you should be asking here include:

  • Where do you see yourself in the next year? Five years?

  • What are your objectives?

  • Or simply, what are your goals? 


You are looking to find where your employee is currently in terms of accomplishing those goals. There are several key things you should be doing here. 

  • Have a detailed conversation about their strengths and their weaknesses specific to the goals that have been identified.

  •  Ask questions and conduct assessments that determine where they are in accomplishing those goals.

 The focus here is to identify the gaps that need to be filled. 

3. Options or Obstacles

Identify all of the different ways that they can reach their goals and what obstacles they might have to overcome to get there. To find ways they can move from reality to their goal you can ask questions like:

  • What do you need?

  • What's stopping you?

  • What is standing in your way?

Brainstorming is a powerful tool at this stage. Working together to come up with as many ideas as possible and then determining which ones make the most sense.

4.  Way Forward 

This is where you put plans in action! Find ways to get your employee to commit to the goals,  establish timing, and create and action plan.

To accomplish this you can ask them:

  • What are the next steps? 

  • What can we expect and when can we expect it? 

  • When do you need feedback?

Have your employee take ownership of their goals and the action plans, as they will be more likely to succeed in reaching them this way.

Ready to become a better coach for your employees? Watch my LinkedIn Learning Series: Becoming a Better Coach for your Team or Contact us to learn more about our coaching and workshop programs.