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Seeing – and Seizing – Coachable Moments

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Jan G. van der Hoop, President of HiringSmart™ — our go-to partner for help on how to hire more effectively, will be contributing to this blog on Fridays.  You can reach him directly at 905-338-7961 or

In our programs, we often describe a Coachable Moment as that highly perishable moment in time when a person is open to receiving new information in such a way that a shift occurs in their perception or behavior.

As managers, leaders and coaches, we face a twofold challenge. Not only do we need to be ready to step fully into the opening when it presents itself – we also need to hold the perspective and the presence of mind to notice these moments for what they are.

Truth is, they are happening around us all the time. We don’t always have the eyes to see them.

The Coach’s Tip – as a quick self-check, ask yourself:

  • What situations presented themselves in the last week, that could have been coachable moments had I recognized them as such at the time? What clues could have alerted me to some untapped opportunity for learning or growth?
  • What shifts do I need to make, in order that I can be more aware of these opportunities in the moment?
  •  What steps should I take with each of the situations I listed above, to salvage a learning opportunity for me and for the other individual concerned?

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Don Rheem’s presentation on Employee Engagement gets underneath the real “whys” on the behavior of discretionary effort. I found his examples to be relative and understandable. I see how our leaders are making better connections with the hearts of our people, so everyone better understands the goals of the enterprise.

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