Coaching Employees: Actions Come From the Way We Think

Coaching Employees: Actions Come From the Way We Think
By Linda Finkle

When we are coaching employees, we want to help them develop new skills, change behavior or see things from a different perspective. However, nothing will change until you teach them how to change their thinking. Actions come from the way we think, not the other way around.


Thus there is no way for someone to change behavior or develop new skills until they change the way they think. I’ve written a couple of posts on coaching employees that you can find here and several others that you can find on our site, and they all have the same premise…to change behavior you have teach people to change the way they think.

Let’s say I have an employee named Sally. If I believe that I have tried everything to get Sally to improve her productivity, then one of a couple of “what’s next” scenarios exists.

Either I simply ignore Sally and assume there is nothing else I can do anyhow, so why bother. Or I might be condescending in my conversation with her…”Sally, we keep having this same conversation; why can’t you seem to get it?” Of course, there are other possible scenarios but I wanted to make a point.

Now if I change my thinking about Sally, believe that she has the possibility of improving and I might simply not have yet found the key, then the way I interact with her will be different. Of course, there are no guarantees that Sally will miraculously improve, but one thing is true: Until I change how I think, I will continue to have the same interactions (or lack of) with her and nothing will change.

Coaching employees requires you to change your thinking and teach them to change their thinking as well, in order to produce different results. Remember: Actions come from the way we think, not the other way around. Until we change our thinking or those we coach change their thinking, we should not expect different outcomes.

Linda Finkle, CEO of INCEDO GROUP, works with innovative leaders around the world who understand that business needs a new organizational growth style. These innovative leaders know that powerful cross-functional communication is the highest priority and the strongest strategy for building organizational effectiveness. To find out more, visit:


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