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Coaching Tips

Two, Twenty, Two Timeout Policy

By June 18, 2020July 12th, 2022No Comments

Just as sports coaches call timeouts on the court or on the field, in a professional coaching culture, you and your team members can call timeouts as well. Sometimes a person simply needs a moment to collect their thoughts. If something is important enough or very emotional, it may be best to take some time off and continue the conversation later or another day. To account for the different circumstances in the field of life, we created the Two, Twenty, Two Timeout Policy. Any person in the company may call a two-minute, twenty-minute, or two-day timeout period.

Two Minutes

Most of the time, two minutes will suffice for a quick recharge. They may just need to use the restroom, take in a breath of fresh air, or grab a cup of coffee from the break room. These two minutes act as a short recovery period for the mind to process, plan, and re-enter the conversation.

Twenty Minutes

On other occasions, the conversation might be trending in an emotional direction or they are going through some personal growth and its an emotionally charged experience. This can become overwhelming for the team member being coached. Taking twenty minutes to collect themselves, or explore their emotions and clear their mind would be advantageous. As a coach, you may see this happening and call a timeout in order to de-escalate. Other times the team member may be in tune with how they feel and decide to initiate the timeout. This is certainly acceptable if it’s done in respectful manner. If performed in a disrespectful or unprofessional way  for example just leaving and slamming the door behind them; this would be addressed during a coaching conversation.

Two Days

On rare occasions, team members are completely unperceptive to having a coaching conversation that day. They may have many events merging together in their personal and professional lives. They could be mentally or physically tired, lacking the energy to engage with the process. Possibly the coaching conversation brought up some serious decisions that need to be made before the conversation can proceed. In these moments, allow for up to two days for the team member to collect their thoughts and reenter the conversation in the right frame of mind.

In the end, make sure the team member knows that the conversation will continue, and you will not refrain from providing feedback that will help them in their growth.

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