The importance of coaching…and at all levels!

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Let’s first of all consider what coaching really is, and how a coach operates.

A Coach aims to unlock a person’s potential with the aim to get the best from their performance. The key is that it helps them to unlock their own potential rather than directly teaching them. The Coach also focuses on the goals of the person being coached and is based on two may communication…the importance of goals being that they provide the drive and motivation to both focus and then to succeed.

The key to coaching as opposed to mentoring is that information passes two ways…the coach responds to information about the coachee’s needs, while the coachee receives help, in the form of active listening and/or thoughtful/thought provoking questioning from the coach. In this way, coaching fits the proverb…
“Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”

The Coach helps the coachee to find the solutions, and agreement is made on the actions needed. Time frames are placed around these, and this then forms an accountability agreement ahead of the next coaching session.

In the workplace, a coach is often the line manager of the person being coached, and this then often forms the basis of monthly 121 meetings. Of course, coaching should never be limited to the structured 121 sessions but can take place at any time…someone coming for guidance to their line manager can either be told what to do or asked the question…” what would your recommendation be and why” …an informal coaching session has begun!

Coaching offers far more than the line manager relationship…two scenarios…

The higher the person is within an organization, should not mean that coaching ceases…however, sometimes as the magnitude of decisions grow, the input of an internal or external coach becomes more important…a sounding board. Some organisations subsidise the cost of external coaches
Someone looking to progress but feels that they are not getting the guidance from within, or are looking for a career change perhaps, and need a sounding board to help to focus their thinking

Irrespective of the circumstances, the success of coaching is based around effective questions rather than instructions, allowing the coachee to find the answers, to unlock their potential, and in such a way that they feel that they had rightly found the solutions for themselves.

In conclusion…are you coaching effectively, or do you even need a coach yourself?

A great coach not only inspires but supports and encourages others to get results.
Richard Schuy