How Can I Make My Coaching Sessions More Personalized to Each Employee?

February 14th, 2020

Great question.  All too often, managers treat them the same.  Personalizing them has greater impact and value on the employee, and also makes the process more impactful and efficient.

Here are our top tips for improving your coaching sessions:

  1. Share the responsibility.  The coaching session is not solely the managers responsibility, nor the employees.  When the session agenda is created together, it’s a way to ensure that both parties get value and direction where they deem necessary.  Have the conversation early on that coaching is part of how you manage the business, and coaching sessions are a way for both parties to set the agenda, ask for feedback and help and share issues.
  2. Set an agenda in advance.  As a manager, send your ideas/suggestions for an agenda and ask the coach to add/edit it.  Next time, flip roles.
  3. Begin your meetings with the following question:  What’s the most important thing we should be talking about today?  Your coach will have an idea and you will have your own.  This is a great way to set the stage, see what’s on everyone’s mind, and encourage individuals to choose priorities.
  4. Talk less, listen more.  20/80 rule here.  Coaching is about asking great questions (the ones that do not result in yes/no answers).  What, how, what if, what does success look like, what else might you try. We often disguise solutions by embedding them in questions:  for example, have you tried…
  5. Coaching is about listening, asking great questions, and guiding someone to a solution.  The best solutions are the ones they come up with.  That doesn’t mean there are times they are specifically wanting information and ideas, but in our experience, it’s best to be clear about that upfront.
  6. After discussion, identify the ideas they choose to implement, and how you can support them.
  7. Gain clear agreement as to what is to be done, by whom and by when.
  8. After your coaching is complete, take the time to share feedback with each other: what worked, what didn’t, what should we do differently next time.
  9. Schedule that next coaching session now and continue your process.


When the coaching session is jointly created and owned by both parties, it is impactful, personalized and often worth the investment of time and energy.  For more coaching tips, reach out to our BankTalentHQ coaches on


This question was answered by BankTalentHQ Career/Management Coach, Donna Flynn.