Let's say you're taking a road trip for your family summer vacation. You're going to your favorite beach that is a 1,000-mile drive. You're aligned on the destination. Even though the driver knows the destination, he or she must still check in with the navigator (coach) at each turn, merge and exit on the highway to ensure you stay on course.
The same is true when you coach a team member. It is necessary, but not sufficient, to explain expectations up front. To help him or her win and arrive at the right destination, several course corrections, or at least course confirmations, might be required along the journey. This means debriefing interactions, meetings, presentations, etc. with the employee. Even if they are someone else's interactions, meetings, and presentations, it helps the employee learn what should and should not be done to be successful by observing others.
Use every opportunity as a chance to align on expectations and coach for future success. Don't confine your mid-course feedback to directions only. Discuss how the driver (employee) is driving--the manner of performance. Is he or she staying in the lane (remaining focused on the task), checking blind spots (seeking feedback from others), and going the right speed (maintaining a sense of urgency)?
Explaining expectations is not a one-time coaching event. Inspiring coaches see it as a continuous cycle of explain-observe-coach-adjust-align. It's a cycle of victory.
Learn more in The Power of Positive Coaching.