COACHING

"A SOUND FOUNDATION FOR TRAINING"

I once had a marvellous compliment paid to me by a member of my staff who left to take up an executive position on promotion. He said in his final farewell speech that "had he not been coached he would not have been able to compete for his new position."

That is what coaching is about - developing the individual to meet personal goals, which in turn assist to meet organisational goals.

WHO SHOULD COACH?

Every manager: top to bottom. - We all need coaching and should all be giving it.

Coaching is like fitness, so start today, as if you lose a day it takes two to catch up.

 

WHY SHOULD I COACH?

The question that also needs to be asked here is, Who to Coach?

There is a choice:

1. ALL

2. THOSE THAT NEED IT

3. THOSE THAT SHOW POTENTIAL

I prefer to coach all, as we all need motivation, which will lead to job satisfaction. Every worker is entitled to that in his job.

The benefits go beyond this as the manager too, can share in the rewards of improved results. These improvements in turn must benefit the organisation.

Managers will also have a clearer view of both their own and their staff member's job. The big plus is the creation understudies who can fill positions as they arise.

Consider

If you don't coach human nature allows staff to learn from and imitate others

think of the bad habits and attitudes that may be acquired.

Think of how hard it is to change these bad habits

 

THE PRINCIPLES

The success of coaching rests on the ability of managers to comprehend and apply the following:

  • Coaching focuses on the improvement of job performance.
  • Coaching implies respect for the individuals and their future.
  • Development should be associated with realistic and meaningful incentives.
  • Variables such as intelligence, aptitudes, knowledge, skills, emotional maturity and work environment can hamper the effectiveness of coaching.
  • A further understanding is developed of both parties' perception of the job and their relationship.
  • Coaching can be systematised but not routine.
  • Well developed communication skills are essential.
  • Coaching begins at where the individual is today.
  • The subordinate can only be held accountable for responsibilities that have been accepted by the individual.

THE PROCESS

I have found the following cyclic process one that works:

1. The Job: On day one discuss the goal of your unit, together with their results areas and their associates. Issue them with a copy of each and a copy of their job description, list of duties and ideal performance standards for each duty.

2. Capabilities: Chart the current knowledge and skills compared to the ideal. Negotiate areas and target dates for achievement of new skills.

3. Standards: Negotiate the interim standards for areas selected for development.

4. Measurement: Encourage staff member to be involved in measuring of achievement and own performance

5. Feedback: Identify specific dates for progress checks over and above spontaneous coaching sessions. Negotiate new areas if results achieved ahead of target date or re-negotiate standards if problems occur. This is where your analysis and problem solving skills are important.

DON'T FORGET TO GIVE RECOGNITION FOR ACHIEVEMENT

THE TECHNIQUES

To achieve the desired results during the process we should consider the following:

1. Observation The Manager must use facts, not assumptions, to validate observations.

2. Analysis Joint analysis between parties of the job responsibilities and the authority that goes with it.

3. Diagnosis The Manager's perception of the individual's strengths and weaknesses. It is also identifying positive and negative consequences that the individual will respond to.

Remember:

MANAGERS MUST BE WISE AND KEEP THEIR OWN PERCEPTION TO THEMSELVES

4. Working Through Using the we approach to arrive at solutions usually encouraged to come from the individual. This positive participative feeling will be more likely to commit the individual to the solutions.

5. Channelling Open forum questioning using WHO, WHAT, HOW, WHERE AND WHEN questions is the number one skill.

WATCH USING "WHY" AS DEPENDING ON TONE,

"WHY" CAN SUGGEST AN INTERROGATION

Use active listening techniques, i.e., good posture, eye contact, encouragement, etc. These show you are interested. Other skills to be used with the above are paraphrases, reflecting of feelings and summaries to show you understand.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO TRAINING MANAGERS?

Trainers sometimes think that training is responsible for all increases in performance.

Remember that a trainer may only influence up to 5% of an individual's time.

Managers have the real power to transfer skills from courses. They influence the remaining 95% of the time.

I see the following as the spin-off for training when good quality coaching is practised:

1. Reinforcement of course skills by line-manager in the work place.

2. Skills transfer shows in the work place.

3. Course credibility maintained.

4. Training Manager's credibility maintained.

5. Line-managers not abdicating training responsibility, which reinforces trainer and line-manager's role.

6. Manangement see increased performance through individual and organisational goals and objectives being achieved.

SUMMARY

Coaching is a way of life. It is continuous, emphasises the job and stresses growth and development. Coaching is management and is a sound foundation for training.

 

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