Coaching. It's an incredibly powerful personal development process. But its benefits aren't limited to the individual - those around the coachee can benefit too.
by Carole Appleby
Reflecting on 10 years of coaching, I’ve learned some valuable stuff. Coaching is fast becoming one of the most important developmental performance-enhancing processes available. That’s great news for organisations as well as for individuals.
But there’s a lot of misperception and confusion about coaching. So I wanted to bust a few coaching myths, to help gets things straight…
1. Coaching is for softies. Wrong. Every elite athlete has a coach. They are not softies. Coaching is an essential team leadership skill. Simply put, a way of managing and developing people to help them achieve their potential; for you as a manager, it’s a way of thinking and of being. And creating a healthy environment for your team to thrive.
2. You don’t need to have the answers. In fact it’s better not to know them a- they can get in the way of developing a great performer. That takes the pressure off you big time.
3. Telling people what they need to do simply doesn’t work. What you need is good questions. Questions that will make your coachee do the thinking for themself.
4. Coaching doesn’t need to take hours and hours. Most of the time it’s better to do it in smaller chunks. A well-structured 10-minute conversation can yield a fresh perspective or new insight on an issue.
5. Coaching isn’t all about feedback and suggestions. Feedback is only one of the tools in the coaching toolbox. There are lots more. Which of these is better?
“Here’s what you did wrong and this is what to do next time…”
“How well do you think you did and what would you do differently next time?”
See what I did there? You were already engaged in thinking about what it could like next time. Asking good questions really makes you think. There’s an increasing amount of research evidence that suggests that coaching can improve motivation and morale, performance, policy implementation, skills development and leadership, as well as giving an impressive return on investment (in some studies as much as 500% return on investment).
So in developing a coaching style to manage your team, you’re becoming an invaluable asset to deliver high performance for your organisation.
As a coach, I’ve learned that non-directive is the way to be. I understand, but don’t know everything about, my coachee’s world and the issues they’re facing. They’re the expert there. My role is to encourage them to think in new ways, see new possibilities and develop a greater confidence in their own capability. That way they find their own solutions. And if they do that, they will more than likely know how to move things forward for themselves. More empowering for for them, simpler for me and far better for the organisation. Win-win-win.
Supporting your team and helping colleagues to survive and thrive will benefit any organisation right now. Knowing how to perform well in times of huge uncertainty lies at the heart of an all-new and unique 'Survival Skills' workshop I have created with comm2point0.
This workshop, among other things, will teach you how to coach. It will also encourage you to think in new ways, see new possibilities and develop a greater confidence in your own capability and in those you manage.
Places are strictly limited with just a couple left. So if you want to know more about yourself, and get the best from your teams and managers, this might just be the most important day of development you take this year.
For more info and to reserve a place click here.
Carole Appleby is an accredited coach, facilitator and experienced communications professional
image via US National Archive
 Garvey R et al: Sheffield Hallam University - Sept 2007