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Coaching Managers & Leaders for Continuous Improvement

Coaching for Lean Leadership, Continuous Improvement and Business Performance
Lawrence M. Miller
4,109 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
The student will develop the essentials skills of coaching managers, leaders and teams for continuous improvement.
To coach leaders and managers to improve key performance measures.
To coach leaders and managers to develop the critical skills of team leadership.
To coach leaders and managers to develop the habit patterns that lead to a high performing organization.

Great teams have great coaches. Great athletes have great coaches. And, we all become great in our field with the help of a dedicated and compassionate coach. This course will help you to become a successful coach who can help others achieve their own version of greatness.

This course is focused on coaching current leaders or managers within an organization to improve performance, develop new habits, and contribute to a culture of continuous improvement. Every great athlete has a coach. Every great musician has a coach. And, within great organization, like Toyota, every manager has a coach. The cost of external coaching is too great. This course is designed to prepare managers to coach both their own team members and to coach peer managers. 

This course will provide a seven step model for coaching that focuses on a challenge to achieve organization goals. The coach helps the client then establish short term targets for improvement and then breaks key skills down into pinpointed behaviors to be practiced and become the habits or skills of high performance. 

This model is one that enables organizations to maximize coaching opportunities within the organization and develop internal coaching skills. 

The instructor has more than forty years experience training both external consultants and internal coaches in companies like Shell Oil Company, Corning, Merck, and dozens of others. 

  • “I really like the short and to the point lectures; the diagrams are great for the visual learners (me!) as well the sheet for identifying your clients, goals will be useful. This was round one as I find reviewing these programs more then once helps in establishing a game plan for my work place.” Sherry Jackson

  • “I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from Larry Miller. This course was very informative and given me some great ideas and tools to strengthen my coaching abilities.” Elizabeth Macdonald

  • “The instructor is engaging and seems to really know what he’s talking about.” Paul Klipp

Introduction to Coaching Leaders for Success

Why Take This Course?

Course Purpose:

•To enable you to provide effective coaching to both your team members and to peer team leaders.

•To provide a structure for developing a culture of continuous improvement in your organization.

•To improve the performance of your organization.

How to Take this Course
Types of Coaching

The purpose of this lecture is to clarify different types of coaching and the type of coaching taught in this course.

1.Life Coaching

•Focused solely on the needs of the individual.

•Not therapy or psychological counseling.

•Coach has no personal agenda.

•Coach is not an expert and does not give advice.

•Helps define goals, alternatives, reach decision to act and follows up. 

2.Executive Coaching

•Coach should have extensive experience in business and management.

•Coach is focused on the success of the executive to achieve success as a leader of his/her organization.

•Coach will give advice on matters of leadership and management.

•Measured by the success of the executive which almost always means the performance of the organization.

3.Business Coaching or Management Consulting

•Coach should have extensive experience in business and management.

•Coach is focused on the success of the executive to achieve success as a leader of his/her organization.

•Coach will give advice on matters of leadership and management.

•Measured by the success of the executive which almost always means the performance of the organization.

4. Toyota Kata Coaching

•Based on Mike Rother’s book and observation of critical behavior patterns at Toyota.

•Very focused on immediate transactions, the habit of focusing on current state performance, a challenge, and frequent experimentation toward improvement.

•Five questions:

1.What is the target condition?

2.What is the actual condition now?

3.What are the obstacles to improvement?

4.What is your next step?

5.How quickly can we go and see what we have learned from the last step?

5. Leadership Coaching

•Focused on habits to improve performance, but ALSO the development of skills and culture.

•Emphasis on the performance of teams and team leadership.

•Focused on business performance, the “challenge”, in addition to immediate habit patterns.

•Coach has knowledge of target skills, as well as target performance.

•Applies the scientific method to both performance improvement and behavior change or learning. 

Introduction and Course Purpose
Assignment #1: Define Your Practice Model

One thing is for certain: If you want to develop a new skill, you must do more than acquire knowledge. You must practice. To practice coaching you must have a partner, or a small group (a “study circle”), with whom you can practice. This should be a person or group with whom you are comfortable making mistakes because all practice involves NOT doing it right the first time, but getting better each time!

The question for this assignment is very simple. With whom will you practice and when will you practice? Make an informal contract with your practice partners to meet on a regular schedule to practice the skills as you go through this course.

  1. My practice partners are…
  2. I will practice at the following regular times. 

The Basics of Leadership Coaching

Principles of Leader Coaching

Four Principles of Leader Coaching

1. The Scientific Method

•It is a method of answering questions or gaining knowledge by observation, measurement and conducting experiments that may then be replicated.

•It is studying the cause and effect relationships between two variables by observing and measuring that effect.

2. Continuous Improvement

•The belief in experimentation leads to continuous improvement and drives out fear.

•It is not about the one BIG win, but the power of many small gains by everyone.

•The coach’s focus is on simply creating and maintaining forward movement by helping the client discover short term targets and actions that lead toward a larger challenge.

3 The Challenge

•The challenge links the coach, the client, and the goals of the organization. It is not only about the client, it is about the team.

•Creative Dis-satisfaction creates energy and motivation for continuous improvement.

•The job of leaders is the create the challenge, not to create a condition of ease.

4. Shaping Behavior

•Skills are learned by shaping pinpointed behavior and chaining behaviors together into a fluid chain.

•Shaping is reinforcing successive approximations to a desired terminal response.

•The coach’s job is to recognize the current state of performance and to help the client take steps toward a desired end state.

•The coach reinforces (encourages) continued effort as the skill is developed. 

The Three Zones of Caring

The Continuum of Caring

"Coaching is not so much a methodology as it is a relationship - a particular kind of relationship. Yes, there are skills to learn and a wide variety of tools available, but the real art of effective coaching comes from the coach's ability to work within the context of relationship."[1]

The Lean Coach should be clear about his or her zone of caring. Is the focus on individual development, the development of teams, or on changing the architecture of the organization - the systems and structure? They are all important. But the assignment must be clear.

There are numerous ways to describe the continuum of relationships between coach and client: from short-term to long-term, from focused on today's problems to developing strategic systems and culture. For the sake of simplicity, I will divide this continuum into three zones: Blue, Green and Red Zones of Caring.

Although you may be operating predominantly in one of these zones along the continuum, you will find that they often overlap. They are also additive, not mutually exclusive. If you are a highly skilled coach operating in the Red Zone, you may also function in the Blue and Green Zones in response to the needs of the client.

Why Caring Matters

If you are a coach, who or what you care about is central to your ability to affect change. Those who are trained in counseling or coaching understand that the relationship between the coach and client is based on trust, and trust is established by demonstrating caring or empathy for the client. The degree to which I feel that you care about me and my success will determine the degree to which I am likely to share my own concerns and follow your advice. If the focus of the coach is outside of the client, on the needs of someone else, there is little reason to expect the client to accept responsibility for self-reflection or change.

Relationships are highly intuitive and they are based on far more than the simple words spoken or questions asked. Clients have an intuitive sense of the motivation of the coach. A coach without self-awareness of his or her own motivations is not likely to build a trusting relationship with the client.

1. The Blue Zone: Individual Habits

Some coaching focuses entirely on habits that impact the performance of the organization. While developing these habits may contribute to performance, there are many other drivers of the culture not addressed by this method. Some coaching in this zone is driven by the needs of the organization and not the needs of the individual.

There are a couple obvious limitations to Blue Zone coaching. First, it demonstrates a superficial caring for the individual client. It is not about the person, but about habits of improving performance. The focus is on the "object" of performance, not the complexity of the person or of the organization’s culture. There is a top down assumption that the challenge is set at a higher level of management, assuring that it is not the client’s needs but the needs of the organization that are being addressed. By definition then, it is not about what is important to the client, but what is important to someone else. The focus is also on improving short-term performance and not the nature of the organization's structures, systems, and capabilities that will ultimately determine long-term performance.

2. The Green Zone: Teams and Processes

Every family therapist has experienced Mom or Dad bringing Johnny to therapy because there is something “wrong” with him. Johnny is misbehaving, he is broken, please fix him! It doesn't take long for the therapist to discover that Johnny's behavior is perfectly rational given the system in which he lives. We all adapt to the system in which we live, and a crazy system produces crazy behavior as viewed by an outsider. You can't fix Johnny without fixing the family system, the behavior of Mom and Dad.

Organizations are like family systems. It is the first learning organization, the group of people on whom we depend the most and who depend on us. It is the group to which we belong, the team, whether the senior management team or the front line team doing the value-adding work. The functioning of this team is the key to the functioning of the entire organization. You can't improve the performance of the organization without improving the behavior and norms of the natural work teams and leadership teams.

There is some confusion about the nature of work teams. While there has been a lot written about self-managed, or self-directed teams, having implemented team systems and trained teams for many years, I can definitely say that there is no such thing as a totally self-directed or self-managing team. The senior management team is directed by the owners of the organization, and every team below receives direction, and operates within boundaries determined at the level above. However, teams may still be empowered and self-directed within those boundaries. The nature of self-direction, the team's boundaries, is entirely dependent on the context, the nature of work done by those teams, as well as their training and leadership.

Coaching these teams requires a set of skills and a different relationship than coaching individuals to improve immediate performance. It requires observing patterns of group behavior, helping to define roles and responsibilities, and it is here that the problem-solving skills and process mapping are most useful. It is the team kata (discipline of practice) more than the individual kata that will determine both the culture and the performance of the organization.

Coaching teams requires a deep understanding of facilitation skills and group dynamics. It also requires the ability to give feedback to a number of different levels of leaders in the organization.

The team is the transition structure between the individual and the culture of the organization so the coach must now demonstrate caring not only for the individual but for the team as a whole, the family unit. She must observe and give feedback to the entire team. And, rather than the five repetitive questions of the Toyota Kata, she needs to move the team and its leaders up a skills hierarchy. The skills of team leadership are more complex than the Kata questions address. I have attempted to provide a definition of the skills, actions, and the coaching questions in my Team Kata Coaching Map (see the Part Three of this book). This is one way of defining this complexity.

3. The Red Zone: Whole-System Change

Great athletic coaches, particularly at the high school and college level, are not only concerned with the specific skills that lead to success on the field or court. Duke University's legendary basketball coach, Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) often talks about the importance of developing his players as "men", well-functioning human beings, both on and off the court. He has won the NCAA Championship five times. His focus on the whole person does not diminish his success at teaching the fundamentals of basketball.

The Red Zone has two dimensions, one is the personal concern for the development of the whole individual and the other is an understanding of the whole-system of the organization. Coaching to improve each of these require both a relevant mental framework, and a set of facilitation skills.

Addressing the organization as a whole-system requires a different set of skills and a different model of change. Socio-technical systems design, or what I have called Whole System Architecture, provides a conceptual model and a process of change, which I have detailed in my Getting to Lean book. Of course there are other frameworks that can be employed. However, the framework must address the systems of the organization such as who gets what information, who makes what decisions, how does the structure support the flow of the work, and whether the capabilities of the organization match the changing requirements imposed by the external landscape.

Toyota in Japan, in the 1990’s, had a turnover rate of 25% among newly hired workers, and they were running out of workers. They realized that there was something dramatically wrong with their system. Along with their union, they redesigned their own system to the degree that one writer claimed that Toyota had abandoned lean manufacturing altogether. They had not abandoned it, but their previous focus on the technical system alone had created misalignment with the needs of people who worked within that system, and they had to redesign the essential nature of the work process to align the social and technical systems.

We have been introduced to many problem-solving models as the solution to all ills. Whether it is Six-Sigma’s DCMAIC, or the Shewart Cycle of PDCA, or the A3 problem-solving model (see Glossary), they are all predicated on the idea that there is a specific problem to be solved. Why do you think there are so many problems? Could it be that there is something more fundamentally wrong?

Problems are within the current state system. Transformational change is not problem-solving. It is designing the whole-system to meet the needs of all stakeholders, internal and external. It is also about adaptation to both the current and future external environment. It is an act of creating something, not fixing something.

Transformational change is about pro-actively creating the future organization based on the threats and opportunities presented by the external environment. It asks, “Given the future environment, the technology, the market and social changes, what do we need to be like in the future and how do we create that future?” It is designing a fundamentally different house than the one we are living in. Yes, there is a “problem”, but you won’t find the problem by fixing every symptom.

Transformational change is a process designed to create significant change in the culture and work processes of an organization and produce significant improvement in performance. If you need to align your organization and its culture to your strategy, you need whole-system design. If the organization creates walls and barriers to the flow of work, you need whole-system design. If the market place is changing significantly and your organization needs to respond to changing technologies, customer demands, or regulation, you need whole-system design.

The nature of this process and these issues are entirely different from those that address individual habits or the patterns of team behavior. They are analogous to a nation's tax laws and system of investment and spending, versus a local community's governance. Too many change efforts that are presented as efforts to change the culture fail to address the systems and structures that reinforce the existing culture.

[1] Kimsey-House, Henry & Karen, Sandahl, Phillip and Whitworth, Laurel. Co-Active Coaching. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, Boston, 2011. P. 15..

The Basics of Leadership Coach
Assignment #2: The Continuum of Caring

Download the attached Assignment #2.

What are your relationships with both your sponsor and your client? As a leadership coach it is most likely that you have at least two critical relationships. One is with the manager who has assigned you this role, who has authorized you to engage in coaching in your organization. The second critical relationship is with your client who you are helping to improve. It is essential that you negotiate the nature of this relationship with both sponsor and client. 

  1. Is my responsibility to help my client develop or improve a skill or change specific behavior? If so…
    1. What is or are, the specific skill(s) that we are together seeking to develop or improve?
    2. Do both my sponsor and my client agree that this is the purpose of my coaching assignment?
  2. Is my responsibility to help my client improve as a team leader and improve the performance of his or her team?
    1. Does my client agree that I have this responsibility?
    2. What are the processes for which this team is responsible?
    3. How is the performance of this team, and these processes, measured?
  3. Is my responsibility to help improve the performance of the larger organization and its systems?
    1. What is the definition of this organization, its boundaries?
    2. What are the key performance measures that indicate the performance of this system?
    3. What are the key subsystems of this organization and how am I going to coach whom to influence those subsystems.

Getting Started

Who is Your Client?

Who is Your Client?

•When coaching or consulting it is always important to know who your “client” is. In  other words, whose needs are you meeting?

•The coach has two clients:

•The first is the Senior Manager who is the sponsor of the coaching and development process.

•The Second is the Team Leader who is receiving coaching.

•It is important that the relationships are transparent. It should be clear that the Team Leader takes direction from the Senior Manager (the immediate level above). She and the coach report progress to the Senior Manager. 

Clarify the following questions in regard to your client(s):

•What information do I share with the senior manager? Do I share all information on the behavior and progress of the team leader?

•Does the team leader know what information I will share with the senior manager?

•Does the senior manager expect you to give him feedback or advice on how he is or should be managing the team leader?

•Is your primary responsibility to help the team leader succeed or is it to help the senior manager succeed?

•If the team leader asks you to keep some information confidential, are you comfortable doing that and will this be acceptable to the senior manager? What type of information might be confidential and what may not be confidential?

•What role do ethics play in this set of relationships?

Clarifying Client Needs

Your Sponsor's Needs


•Clarify and Feedback

•Measurable Performance:

•Productivity and Process Measures

•Quality Measures

•Financial Performance

•Customer Satisfaction

•Behavior Change

•What changes in regard to team leadership?

•What changes in regard to peer relationships?

Your Client's Needs


•Clarify and Feedback – Write it Down!

•Measurable Performance of his/her team

•Relationships with team and peers

•Behavior of the team

•Personal Behavior – things he or she may do that impact performance. 

Focus on the Whole Person
Your First Meeting

Planning Your Meetings

Have a regularly scheduled meeting

1.Review the Facts: What are the facts of the key data variables. What is the current condition both in regard to performance measures and your observation of the behavior of the team?

2.Recognition: Be sure to celebrate the progress of your client.

3.Pinpoint Behavior: How do you feel the team is performing in terms of the team process? Are they an effective team? What behavior indicates either their effectiveness or problems? How can these improve?

4.Action Plan Review: What commitments were made in previous meetings between you and your client, and what progress has been made?

5.The Challenge and Desired Performance: Discuss the big or strategic challenge of the organization, and suggest next target conditions or performance. First ask the client what he or she feels would be the next appropriate targets.

6.Feedback: Ask if he or she has any concerns about his or her role as a team leader or how you can help.

7.Problem-solving: Shared problem-solving in regard to the performance and behavior of the team.

8.Contracting: What can I as a coach do to be helpful; and, what do you as a team leader agree to do in the future. Each meeting should include an agreement on specific tasks and dates. This creates accountability. 

Getting Started
Assignment #3: Clarifying Your Client's Needs

Please download the attached resource that contains the assignment.

What Are Your Client’s Needs?

The beginning of any successful coach/client relationship is to understand your client’s needs. It is useful to use the Needs Analysis on the following page. This will help you and the client develop a shared understanding of the relationship and shared goals. It is also useful to prioritize these needs. Establishing these priorities with the client will be the beginning of a successful relationship. 

The Coaching Cycle

The Power of Positive Assumptions

A great coach sees the positive, the good, the opportunity in everyone. Every person you may coach has a current condition and a potential future condition. Your job is to help that individual move from the current to the future

•What is my client hoping to achieve? What is his/her best outcome and how can I help them achieve it?

•What are their strengths? Focus on their strengths.

•Plan to listen to their needs or concern with sincere empathy, but without being distracted from the task of achieving some forward progress, some commitment to action. 

Ask Yourself....

•What are my client’s strengths that have led to past success? How can I build on those strengths?

•What is my client hoping to achieve? What is his/her best outcome and how can I help them achieve it?

•Compared to how they are performing and the results they are achieving today, what is their potential performance and what obstacles are in their way?

•What fears may they have, and how can I help to alleviate those fears?

•How can I demonstrate my belief in their good intentions, and their ability to improve their performance?

•Plan to listen to their needs or concern with sincere empathy, but without being distracted from the task of achieving some forward progress, some commitment to action. 

Assignment #4: What Are My Positive Assumptions
Pinpointing Behavior
Assignment #5: Pinpointing Behavior
Discover the Current Condition

What are “Conditions?”

1.The data… KPI’s

2.Process measures

3.Observations of behavior compared to desired skills.

4.External Conditions Imposed by the Landscape.


Discover the External Condition
Assignment #6: Discover the Current Conditions
Set Targets for Future Performance - Contract

•Ask the client for agreement. Write down the actions to be taken by the client.

•When will these be done?

•When should you check back to discuss the completed action, or when may you observe?

•Keep an action log with the actions, agreed dates, and status.

Questions to Consider in Developing A Proposed Course of Action

•Is the current condition clear to the client?

•Is the challenge clear to the client?

•Ask what the client feels is a reasonable short term target, no more than 30 days.

•Is it SMART? Use the Worksheet

•Develop the Action plan

•Ask for Agreement

Smart Goals

•Specific: What exactly will you accomplish?

•Measurable: How will you know when you have reached this goal?

•Achievable: Is achieving this goal realistic with effort and commitment? Have you got the resources to achieve this goal? If not, how will you get them?

•Relevant: Why is this goal significant to your life?

•Timely: When will you achieve this goal?

Assignment #7: Proposing a Course of Action and Contracting with the Client
Practice Behavior to Build the Skill

Gain Commitment to Practice New or Changed Behavior

•You can’t practice results, you can only practice behavior.

•You don’t practice a skill, you practice component behavior.

•Gain commitment to specific time and place. 

Example: Target performance is successfully leading your team in the PDSA problem solving model. Behaviors…

•Introducing the model to the team.

•Displaying the PDSA form with explanations.

•Brainstorming a problem definition.

•Plan… get data, identify actions, gain agreement.

•Agree on time to review with client or observe.

•Provide Feedback 

Chain Behavior to Develop a Fluid Skill

Chain Behaviors to develop a skill

•All skills are behavioral chains performed fluidly (achieving flow).

•What is the skill and the behavior chain sequence?

•When the sequence of behaviors flows naturally, or habitually, it has been “chained”.

•Confirm the performance of the entire chain by observing the client’s performance. 

Reinforce Improvement

•Reinforce the client’s behavior with the performance of each component behavior of a skill and at the complete performance of a skill.

•Practice Four-to-One.

Assignment #8: Behavior Observation and Reinforcement
The Coaching Cycle

Helping and Coaching Skills

Introduction to Coaching Skills

Helping & Coaching Skills


2.Body Language – “Attending”

3.Asking Open-ended and Powerful Questions

4.Reflecting or Rephrasing

5.Expressing Empathy


7.Brainstorming Together

8.Using Silence

9.Giving Feedback

10.Receiving Feedback

Body Language - Attending
Asking Open-Ended and Powerful Questions

Effective Listening Skills

Effective listening skills are comprised of five component skills. These are asking questions, expressing empathy, rephrasing, acknowledging, and the use of silence.

There is no more important skill you can learn, whether as a coach, facilitator, parent, spouse, or friend. This is a “Life-skill” as much as a  coaching skill.

§“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

§“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” H. Scott Peck

Asking Open-Ended Questions

The skilled coach knows when to use different types of questions. There are two types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended questions.

  • Closed-ended questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Such as “do you live here?” “Are you interested in ….?” “Would you like to participate on this team?” All these questions are a dead end street and will elicit little information.
  • Open-ended questions require the other person to think and offer some of their own thoughts. The other person is free to take the conversation where they would like for it to go.

Powerful questions are open ended questions that lead the client to a commitment to action toward the target condition or challenge.

  • “When performance improved, what were team members doing differently?”
  • “What could you do to elicit that same behavior today.”
  • “What is the greatest obstacle to team member motivation that you can impact?”

An open-ended question usually begins with what, where, why or how.

  • How can we help you?
  • What seems to be the problem?
  • What happened last night?
  • Why are you upset?
  • Where were you when you first felt this way? 

Activity 9: Asking Open-Ended Questions
Reflecting or Rephrasing

Rephrasing, is also called reflective listening. It is a way of checking out your understanding of what you think the other person meant. It is holding up a mirror to say “This is what I heard. Is that right?” Then the other can agree or clarify. They will feel like you are really listening. 

  • To clarify the client’s statements. “It sounds as if you are ready to move on to the next subject.”
  • To help the client express their emotions. “What I hear you saying is that you feel strongly about this and it has caused you considerable pain.”
  • To get at a deeper understanding of the issue than may have been expressed. “So, it sounds like this is not merely about what time and place we meet, but about what is most important to us.”


  • “It sounds like you feel committed to…”
  • “I am hearing two possible directions that you could take…”
  • “In other words you don’t feel ready to discuss this with your team, is that right?”

Activity 10: Reflective Listening
Expressing Empathy

With an empathy statement you express how you think the other person feels and why. Showing empathy towards another person helps that person feel safe, understood, and connected to you. We all have a strong need to know that our feelings are understood.

A coach may use empathy statements…

To help reduce strong emotions that may prevent rational thinking and conversation. Making an empathy statement to someone who is expressing pain or anger can diffuse those feelings. Empathy is like someone holding your hand, letting you know that they understand. For example, “I can see that you are really hurt that when your ideas were rejected.”

“Its sounds as if you feel… (put in a feeling word) … because… (reason).”

  • For example: “It sounds as if you feel that we don’t have the resources for this project because everyone is too busy.”

“It must be…(feeling word)…when…(reason).”

  • For example: “It must be frustrating to work so hard on a project when no one else appears to recognize that work.”

“I can understand that…(reason)…would make you…(feeling word).”

  • For example: “I can understand that the amount of time it took us to make a decision would make you upset.”

Activity 11: Expressing Empathy
  • Acknowledging is a form of positive reinforcement intended to strengthen the behavior of communicating by the other person.
  • Acknowledging may be a simple as nodding your head in understanding. Leaning forward. Or simply saying “I can understand that” or, “That’s a good point.” 
Using Silence
Brainstorming Together
Coaching Skills

The Skill of Giving and Receiving Feedback

Giving Feedback

Guidelines for Giving Feedback

1.Be sure that your intention is to be helpful to the other person or team.

2.Think it through. Be clear about what you want to say.

3.Emphasize the positive alternative to the undesired behavior. You care about your client and you want to help them improve. Tell them why you care.

4.Be specific -- Avoid general comments or exaggerations. Don’t say “You always…” This will cause the other person to be defensive. Be specific about what and when the person or group does something. 

5.Focus on pinpointed behavior rather than the person.

6.Own the feedback -- Use ‘I’ statements to indicate that this is how “I feel and others may not experience the same thing.”

7.Your manner and the feelings you express are important. Be direct, but be kind and helpful. Be sincere.

A Model for Giving Feedback

  1. Ask permission (“I would like to share an observation, if you don’t mind.”)
  2. When… (Describe the circumstance, time, etc.)
  3. What happens (describe the specific behavior)
  4. It makes me feel… (why it is a problem for me and possibly for others)
  5. A suggestion. It is always best not to act as if you know the right course of action, but it is helpful to have a suggested course of action.
  6. Check it out. “Does this make sense to you”, or “how do you feel about that.”

Receiving Feedback

Guidelines for Receiving Feedback

1.Understand that the person giving you feedback is attempting to be helpful. Try to receive the feedback as a gift given to you by this person who wishes to help you succeed.

2.Listen for actionable feedback. Ask yourself “What can I do differently in the future based on this feedback?” Do not focus on the person giving you the feedback or how you feel about that individual.

3.Ask for clarification. Ask when or under what circumstances you do something. Ask for examples that can clarify the situation or behavior. Ask the other person what you might do as an alternative in that situation. Seek to understand. 

4.Engage in problem-solving. Think together about the problem.

5.Summarize what you have heard. Reflect back to the person giving you feedback your understanding of what you have heard.

6.Take responsibility for your behavior and demonstrate a willingness to modify your own behavior.

7.Remember that this feedback is not an evaluation of how good a person you are, but how your behavior is perceived by others at certain times. 

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Supplemental Lectures

Targets, Goals and Objectives 1
Targets, Goals and Objectives 2
Sources of Motivation
Bonus Lecture: Some Additional Resources
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