The Most Effective Communication Style for Making Your Employees Better


Long gone are the days where employees stay at companies where they don't feel purposeful, valued or challenged daily. Job sites like Glassdoor and The Muse make it too easy to confirm the grass is greener at your competitor which makes turnover more real of a threat than ever before.  

That being said, as a leader, you gotta give 'em what they want-- purpose, appreciation, and growth opportunities. So as a busy founder, how do you make time to do that for every employee? 

Good news. This solution doesn't take any more time out of your day. In fact, the more you use it, the more time it will save you in the future. The solution is simple-- communicate like a coach. 

Coaching communication is based on a foundational belief that every employee interaction can be viewed as a development opportunity. Shifting your perception from "boss" or "friend" to "coach" empowers you to...

  • Develop high-performance teams vs. directing your team's daily activities.
  • Inspire your employees to achieve vs. micromanaging them.
  • Be seen as a facilitator of success vs. an authoritarian without influence. 
  • Have two-way conversations with employees vs. firing off one-sided commands. 

Now that you're armed with your new perspective on leadership, we'll explain how to have these coaching conversations with your employees. Whenever you identify a coaching opportunity, whether it be a performance-related issue or a repeat behavior transgression, follow the Coaching Communication Roadmap below:

  1. Start the conversation with an open-ended question.
    • Coaching communication is all about engaging the employee in two-way conversation. Check your assumptions at the door and take a discovery-focused approach. By starting the conversation with open-ended questions, you communicate to the employee that you care about her perspective and she will be less defensive to your suggestions for improvement.
  2. Listen to understand; repeat it back. 
    • Good leaders listen to their employees. Listen to understand the employee's point of view. If she's not doing something correctly, identify where the breakdown in communication was or what her challenges are. Once you have a good understanding, repeat it back to her for clarification. 
  3. Explain like a coach. 
    • Remember, your responsibility as a "coach" is to develop high-performance teams and inspire your employees to achieve; not create an army of robots. When you want to modify an employee behavior, you have to explain the reasons why. Tie the desired behavior change to personal, team, and company goals and thoroughly explain the benefits of changing her behavior.
  4. Brainstorm ideas for improvement together.
    • Ask the employee what you can do to help her make the desired change(s). What specific action items can she take to ensure improvement? How does she want you to follow up with her to make sure she's reaching her goals?
  5. Clarify. 
    • After a lengthy discussion, it's crucial to wrap up the meeting with a clear list of post-meeting action items. Review both of your commitments, and schedule a date and time to check-in on progress. This will boost accountability and increase the likelihood of performance correction.

By having more meaningful coaching conversations with your employees they will become better employees, be more engaged at work, and respect you more as a leader because they see you're invested in their personal development. 

To download your Coaching Communication Roadmap, click here. For more on how you can communicate effectively as a leader and develop your employees, reach out to us at