What is the COIN Conversation Model?

The COIN Conversation Model is a Tool that helps provide Feedback Effectively.

  • It is widely used in Professional Situations, but also in everyday life.

 

To do this, it proposes that any Successful Feedback Process must go through 4 Steps.

  • In a particular Order (Starting from the 1st and ending with the 4th).

 

It name is an acronym for the 4 Steps proposed:

  • Context.
  • Observation.
  • Impact.
  • Next Steps.

Four Stages of the COIN Conversation Model

1. Context: Describe the Situation in which the Event takes Place.

  • Place, Time, People involved, Circumstances, etc.

 

2. Observation: Describe the Events that occurred in an Objective way.

  • Who talked, How others Behaved, What Language was used, etc.

 

3. Impact: Describe the Consequences of this Event, What it Involved.

  • How it affected other People, Employees, Business Operations, etc.

 

4. Next Steps: What can be done to Improve things in an Agreed way.

  • Whoever receives the Feedback must agree with the Actions to be taken.

COIN Conversation Model

 

In case you are familiar with Feedback Models, you may have already realized How similar this method is to the CEDAR Model.

  • Yes… Both Methods are very similar, indeed.

 

The CEDAR Model uses a similar approach, but proposes to use Examples when providing Feedback.

  • Check our “CEDAR Model” Page if you are interested about it.

We recommend you to be aware of both approaches.

 

Now’ we’ll see why Feedback Models are important, and specially, the COIN Model:

COIN Feedback Model example

 

Think about when you argue with a Friend or a Family Member of yours.

Why do some discussions get so unproductive?

 

Think about what usually happens:

  • You Analyze his/her argument Subjectively.
  • You Question his/her ability to Reason properly.
  • You start following your “Feelings“.
  • Your past Experience with this person tends to play an important role.
  • Your currentissues” tend to affect your mood.

 

If you used the COIN Model (which is very easy to Remember) you would have to:

  • Analyze the Context of what you are discussing.
  • Agree on the Facts; What happened, in an Objective way.
  • Analyze the Impact of these Facts, putting your Feelings aside.
  • Agree on what can be done to overcome the situation.

 

Next time you have an argument, try to move through these Steps in an Objective and Impartial way.

  • Your conversation will be much more Productive.

The best way to understand the COIN Conversation Model and how you can use it is by sharing some examples with you.

COIN Conversation Model examples

We’ll now share 3 examples of situations in which the COIN Conversation Model can be of great help.

  • Common situations that you probably experience in your day-to-day life.

 

Let’s see what we can learn:

Feedback to a Student - COIN Feedback Model example

 

We’ll imagine that you have a Student that is not trying hard enough.

  • She (or he) is a brilliant student but is performing poorly.

 

In order to approach her successfully, you decide to follow the COIN Model.

What do you do?

 

Context

First, you decide to Explain her:

  • The importance of the course she’s in (just one year before College).
  • The implications of being accepted by one or another University.
  • What abilities she has, and her Potential.

 

Observations

Then, you decide to analyze:

  • The decline in her Performance (using Scores to show it).
  • The Reduction of her Study Hours (She agrees on it).
  • The Decline in her Participation in the Class (amount of “hands raised”).

 

Impact

You then Explain to her that:

  • This can affect her College Options.
  • Her future Job Options will likely be influenced by her current Performance.
  • She will get used to not to trying hard enough in the future, and that is bad.

 

Next Steps

You both agree that:

  • She will Gradually spend more hours studying.
  • You will Monitor her Progress once a week in a private meeting.
  • She will visit some Universities to find a Motivational boost to study.

Feedback to an Employee - COIN Feedback Model example

 

We’ll imagine that you have an Employee to which you want to give Good Feedback.

  • Feedback can be also Positive.

 

In order to approach him (or her) successfully, you decide to follow the COIN Model.

What do you do?

 

Context

First, you decide to Explain him:

  • How things have been for the Company lately (rough times).
  • How things are working between employees.
  • The criteria that the company follows to promote employees.

 

Observations

Then, you decide to:

  • Highlight the situations in which he did more than expected.
  • Analyze what his Coworkers did.
  • Evaluate the Quality of his work in the last year, with numbers.

 

Impact

You then Explain to him:

  • The Consequences of what he did (good consequences).
  • How his work helped the Company in reaching its goals.
  •  What would have happened if he did not do what he did.

 

Next Steps

To keep him working hard and reward him, you propose:

  • A Training program to develop his professional career in the Company.
  • A Promotion in 1 year, if he continues working so good.
  • More responsibilities, with a salary increase (unfortunately, this never happens).

Feedback to your Boss - COIN Feedback Model example

 

Finally, We’ll imagine that you want to give Feedback to your Boss.

  • She (or he) is a good Boss, but you think she’s wrong about something.

 

In order to approach her successfully, you decide to follow the COIN Model.

What do you do?

 

Context

First, you decide to Explain her:

  • Her last decisions, and when and How she took them.
  • How the Team is working currently.
  • What is going on in the Department where you think she made a mistake.

 

Observations

Then, you decide to highlight her:

  • The decision she took that was not aligned with her overall Strategy.
  • How she reached the Decision (what was everybody discussing about).
  • What she said, How, and to Whom.

 

Impact

You then Explain her (very politely) in a reasoned way:

  • What happened after she took that decision.
  • How and Why it affects the Performance of the Company.
  • What will happen if she doesn’t rectify.

 

Next Steps

In order to help her, you propose to:

  • Give her advice in that particular Decision with Objective Data.
  • Analyze together the Situation with all posible scenarios.
  • Be herright hand” in that department (which you know very good).

Summarizing

The COIN Conversation Model is a Tool that helps provide Feedback Effectively.

 

It proposes that any Successful Feedback Process must go through 4 Steps:

  1. Context: Describe the Situation in which the Event takes Place.
  2. Observation: Describe the Events that occurred in an Objective way.
  3. Impact: Describe the Consequences of this Event, What it Involved.
  4. Next Steps: What can be done to Improve things in an Agreed way.

 

The CEDAR Model uses a similar approach, but proposes to use Examples when providing Feedback.

©2021 - consuunt

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?