Coaching Employees: One Very Important Step | #Management #Leadership

When coaching employees to change their behaviors for greater success, there is one very important step to remember. Use action words to guide them to actionable change vs. judgmental labels that lead nowhere. Here’s how.

Coaching Employees Use Action Words. Image is a pair of shoes.

Coaching Employees: Use This Very Important Step. Image by Jeshu John via

Image by Jeshu John via

Coaching Employees: The Key Step

So many times leaders and managers take on the role of coach. They see employee behaviors getting in the way of what needs to be done. Yet without coaching skills, they often blurt out judgmental labels and give stop messages that make things worse.

Replace judgmental labels & stop messages with actionable suggestions:

  1. Perfectionist. When coaching employees that are getting overly detailed or can’t seem to make a decision and move things forward, don’t say “Stop being perfectionists. It’s good enough the way it is.” First, find out why things are taking longer than you expected. Ask and listen! You will uncover important information.

    If there are no tangible obstacles (e.g. missing data, lack of knowledge, competing priorities etc…), then ask them what is blocking the completion. Describe how what they are doing affects other projects and highlight the deadlines. Ask them, How can we move this along? It focuses on action. Remember, using judgmental labels stops people from moving ahead. Guiding them with action phrases like here are some ways to move this along shows them a path they may have not considered.

  2. Stop being so ________ . Stop messages are a show of your frustration. They have little or no value in helping employees change their behavior. Once again start by asking them why they are choosing that approach. Then describe the challenges that it is creating. Suggest and discuss other ways to proceed.

Coaching Employees’ Behavior Changes

In essence, be very aware of how often you use labels and stop messages with your employees. If you want to see behavior change, understand what is driving their behavior and then discuss actionable ways to change it. Replace the judgmental labels and stop messages with productive discussion and new ways to success.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
8 Steps to Coach Chatty Super Talkers to Listen
Leaders, Coach Employees on This Essential Trust-Building Lesson
5 Ways to Sound Helpful not Patronizing

©2024 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Get more inspiration and actionable tips for high engagement results!


Buy Kate Nasser’s new book Leading Morale (


Comments are closed.

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser Blog KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest