Simply put? Words matter. Do not underestimate the importance that words have when either strengthening bonds or fracturing them. “Employee” has a different connotation than “team member” or “key contributor,” and “I’m going to need you to” comes across differently than “are you open to some feedback.”
Do you separate observations from judgments or assumptions?
Do you set a positive tone during coaching sessions?
Do you demonstrate sincerity in wanting to help your direct reports?
Do you customize your coaching approach depending on the person you are coaching?
Do you give positive as well as negative feedback?