Hi there

I was listening to the coaching model podcast (hall of fame). In the podcasts an example is given around coaching a direct on how they do meetings and delivering that feedback actually in the meeting. This triggered a few questions I had, should we be giving such feedback in public first of all, can others give coaching feedback and if we are are the only person observing someone's behaviour isn't there a risk they may change their behaviour only when I am present or just because I am present?

Related to that, I usually consider One on Ones to be a safe/private space. How do I observe how my direct's behaviour in a One on One they are having with someone else without my presence having an impact on the person who is being coached and the person whose One on One it is?

Thanks in advance for any insights someone can share.


jrb3's picture
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... what I think I remember of that illustrative vignette was that it was feedback given while walking out of the meeting.  It was conversational, and quick, and focused on the most important bit to address.  Though in a public space, it was semi-private (others could overhear only if they really wanted to).

When I'm in the role of evaluating and giving feedback, for meetings and presentations "for effect", I will not interrupt the activity.  Interruptions are for practice sessions or true emergencies.  I've been in many activities where several of us provide feedback and/or coaching -- Toastmasters International club meetings and trainings provide lots of those -- and the feedback need not be from someone "more skilled".  "Here's what I heard, saw, felt" with suggestions on what might improve a communication doesn't take much effort or expertise.

As for your feared "risk", why do you care whether they changed it from what they did before, observed or not?  Feedback is about the future.  If what you observe triggers positive feedback, it's to persist;   if negative, it's to change.  Either way, the next time is no worse than before, else it's a fresh opportunity for another piece of negative feedback, steering towards more reliably effective behavior.

pigsie's picture

Thank you for that food for thought. Regarding your last point, my fear is that the person only changes their behaviour or only practices positive feedback that has been previsouly discussed when they know they are being observed as my presence alone can act as a visual cue as to what they should be doing. Should they then go on to do further presentations and I'm not around, isn't there a risk that they don't adhere to their previous good behaviours? Fall back into bad habits - i.e. they may only make an extra effort or be more concious of how they are carrying out an activity when they know they are being actively observed. I go to Toastmasters, but there is nothing to say that the way people give talks at Toastmasters - especially when they know they are being evaluated - is how they do in other settings. I'm not arguing against it by the way I am just wondering how do we mitigate against the fact that the very fact that someone is being observed can change their behaviour.

For example if I sit in on someones one to one to see how they go about it - I'm not sure it would go exactly the same way if I wasn't there.