How to Adapt Workplace Coaching Communication

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  • 0:04 Workplace Communication
  • 0:39 4 Types of Coaching…
  • 2:53 Impact of Language
  • 3:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

This lesson will explain how to adapt coaching communication by mirroring, directive, guiding, and facilitating conversations and how language impacts employee feelings towards coaching.

Workplace Communication

When making a diverse team, it is important to learn how to build rapport and to coach each individual member in the way that works best for them. Coaching is the process of working with your employees to create a relationship and then to help them reach team objectives and their own personal goals. Although this can be challenging, there are four ways to adapt your workplace coaching communication to effectively create a relationship with your team: mirroring, directive, guiding, and facilitating. Each of these tactics allow you as a manager to gain the trust of your people and find different ways to direct them towards their goals.

4 Types of Coaching Communication

Four Types of Coaching Communication

Each of these unique ways to communicate will take conscious effort when working with your employees. However, after a time, you'll understand your workforce and what works best, which will help maintain these coaching styles.


Mirroring is mimicking the body language and verbal cues from your employees. Think about how you start to change your own behaviors to the people you look up to or the ones you care about. This is why families have a lot of the same mannerisms. If you use certain language colloquialisms and mannerisms, your employees will start to relate to you better. The more rapport you build with them, the more they will trust you. Trust opens the door to open communication, which will allow you to guide and push them toward meeting team goals and their own personal objectives.


The directive version of communication is based on your personal belief in your employee's goals. If you are genuinely invested in your employee's desire to be promoted, then your behavior will exhibit this. Your employee will also understand your belief in them and their goal, which will also make for more frank conversations about what they need to accomplish to be promoted. To do this you will have to invest in each and every one of your workforces, while working with them to accomplish goals that have an honest purpose. If your people are purpose-driven, it will be easier for you to believe in their goals and help your employees to achieve each of them.


Although it is easier to tell your employees what to do, it can be more effective to guide them along the way. A guide is a mentor and an escort, so to communicate in this fashion it is important to show your people how you attained similar goals and become the support structure they need as they start to pursue their own. Meeting with your employees one on one to have genuine communication about their goal, and providing advice is a start. This allows each individual to come to their own conclusions without feeling pushed in a direction they do not want to go. This process is group based and will work when you are trying to coach your team as a whole.

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