The 5 Coaching Conversations Effective Leaders Must Have

Recommendations from the Gallup 2017 State of the American Workplace Report

The Gallup (2017) State of the American Workplace Report was just released this morning. The report lists 5 coaching conversations that effective leaders must have. You can request your copy here.The Gallup (2017) State of the American Workplace Report was just released this morning.

Young colleagues having a coaching conversation


It seems that employee engagement is down by 1% to 33% as the norm. For top performing companies employee engagement is 70%. That is an impressive difference.

One of the conclusions of the report is that leaders should leverage coaching conversations in their leadership. According to Gallup:

Coaching is a conversation about progress, obstacles to progress, and triumph in progress. Coaching also teaches the coach to initiate and drive conversation about progress.

The 5 Coaching Conversations Effective Leaders Must Have:

The Gallup report identifies 5 opportunities for having coaching conversations when you are leading and managing and those are:

  1. Role and relationship orientation – Occurs when employees join the company, when job responsibilities shift and when employees change roles
  2. Quick connects – Give managers an opportunity to assess quickly how an employee is doing and to identify successes and barriers
  3. Check-ins – More formal opportunities to seek and give feedback on goal achievement, priorities, progress on projects and employee needs
  4. Developmental Coaching – Aims to direct and guide an employee to improved performance and individual career development
  5. Formal reviews – Formal reviews of progress on goals, expectations and planning for future opportunities

Coaching is a concept that is often interchanged with mentoring, consulting, and supervision. I have a blogpost that distinguishes those. We have to authentically coach to get coaching benefits. We cannot just label any methodology as coaching and expected to get coaching results. You can access that post here.

Experiencing Coaching is Best

My background in educational psychology makes it amply clear that for leaders to develop coaching skills, they must experience good coaching. Experiential learning is powerful. Experiential learning produces better and sustainable results. The best way to teach leaders how to have effective coaching conversations is to allow them to experience effective coaching conversations with a coach.  Otherwise, we may end-up with well intended leaders who instead of coaching begin to mentor, supervise, or consult.

Special Program 

This report is not specifically about school settings. But these workplace reports mirror what happens across different sectors. This report comes at a most appropriate and exciting time. I am in the process of developing Leadership Coaching and Mastermind programs. My first cohort will be comprised of principals. I will be creating other groups in the future. If you are a principal, please considering joining us now. The program starts April 4, 2017. And we have seating for 10. Learn more about that here.

What are your thoughts about leaders and managers using coaching conversations to increase engagement?



Gallup, Inc. (2017). State of the American Workplace. Retrieved from


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