Get them talking: Tell me about the last time you “coached” someone. How did that go? What’s the difference between “coaching” and “teaching” or “telling someone what to do”? Keep them talking: Did you play sports when you were younger? Who was your favorite coach? What made them different from the others? Have you been coached recently? What’s the “right way” for someone to coach you? Points to consider: The key to coaching is asking the right questions and letting the other person figure things out. When we give someone the answers — when we teach them — we may help them complete a particular task, but we also make it likely they’ll keep coming back to us for answers in the future. Coaching involves supporting people as the learn how to think, how to solve problems, how to approach their work. It can be tough for a boss to be a coach. Coaching requires focusing on the person, rather than the task they’re working on. A coach must be willing to let the person make mistakes in order to learn. Coaching isn’t always possible. A person must want to be coached — they must be committed to getting better and willing to do the work.