I've been coaching one direct on a skill for a bit more than a month, and now one of my other directs has mentionned in their yearly evaluation that they would like to develop that skill too. Any suggestions on coaching them together (or advice not to  do it?) I've been doing coaching (reporting, setting the new goals) at one-on-ones so that would need to change if I wanted to coach them together. I can see potential for them to be learning together (for example reading a resource and then discussing it together). On the other hand that might mean they don't get to individually pick their goals/resources all the time and I might have to move coaching outside of one on ones.

gehrhorn's picture
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Interesting. I could see if they were on the same project and were trying to model / build similar skills it could work. Otherwise I think it's so individualized that you may not gain any efficiency by co-running them.

ashdenver's picture

Unless you're doing a full-team exercise on the topic, I'd avoid trying to force two people together unless they both ask for it to be combined. X may not feel comfortable with Y in the room or Y might feel like X is hogging the coaching or stealing the spotlight or wasting valuable coaching time with inane questions.

ssentes's picture
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While I can see the draw towards coaching your 2 directs together on the same topic we would not recommend it. There are 2 strong reasons for this:

  1. All of our models are used to increase effectiveness rather than efficiency. The draw towards coaching these directs together is coming out of a place of efficiency. Being more effective is not more efficient, as a matter of fact it can in some cases be less efficient. 
  2. Our coaching model is meant to grow and adapt to each individual and their particular learning style. By grouping your directs together each of them lose out on key aspects of the learning, which is the entire purpose. Forcing your directs to learn in the same manner, using the same resources and following the same timeline is not effective. One or the other of them (if not both) will miss out. In the end this wastes time rather than saving it.

There is nothing wrong with coaching both directs at the same time on the same topic. It may even be helpful and provide ideas that overlap. Just don't lump them together.

I hope this helps! 


Sarah Sentes - Manager Tools Presenting Associate

NFPmanager's picture

My main reason for considering coaching them together wasn't to gain efficiency (the coaching model makes it so efficient already), it was more about them learning from each other and supporting each other during their professional development. For example let's say they read some material, they may be able to discuss it with each other, etc. I thought about all the feedback in this thread and I decided to coach them separately but have them aware of what each other is doing so that they can organically support each other - I won't force it.