Lunch and Business Coaching
Business Coaching Sessions Can Be Informal
A lunch break can provide a perfect opportunity for a manager to engage in business coaching with one of their employees. It is best performed on a one-to-one basis, to enable the easy two-way interaction and discussion needed, as having a small or even a large group on a lunch meeting can end up turning into a loud party where only the loudest can be heard over the many competing voices and friendship groups only sit and talk to each other.
Having lunch together presents a less formal and less imposing atmosphere for the coaching session to take place than it would in, say, a small room in the office. This can help facilitate the 'opening-up' and breaking down barriers which can prevent the employee from talking about the issues which are preventing them from maximising their full potential in the workplace.
Remember That Lunchtime is a Break!
It is important that it is not just work-related matters which are discussed during lunch, otherwise employees will feel like this is something which is taking up their break away from the workplace and should really be being performed in it! They may resent the manager talking about work the entire time on what should be their leisure time.
Remember to Treat All Employees Similarly
It is also important that different members of the team are included in these lunchtime coaching sessions/get togethers so that they do not feel excluded and that the manager favours certain other employees over them. Whilst used best as an intermittent strategy, lunch should also not be used solely when there is a problem or bad news to discuss with an employee, otherwise workers will dread the sessions or start circulating rumours whenever a lunch coaching session is scheduled between the manager and one of them.
A large part of successful business coaching revolves around rapport building and so lunch sessions, particularly over time, can help to develop the relationship between manager and worker, providing both a platform and an environment for ideas to be generated, issues to be resolved and action plans to be devised and put into motion.