The coaching process
Although there is no single model to apply in coaching, the following aspects will be applied in almost any coaching process:
- There needs to be clarity on the goal. In other words: where does the client want to go? Likewise when you are managing your team, you should discuss together what the possible options are and which one should be taken.
- There needs to be feedback: a coach will listen carefully and restate to their client what they hear, acknowledge and encourage them on progress that is being made and support them in changing direction if need be. Within a team, there needs to be feedback on the progress of what is being done, which enables the ability to make amendments if things are going off track or if obstacles that weren’t predicted should arise.
- Accountability: a client is accountable to their coach on the actions they have committed to. A manager should address and discuss with their team any unproductive behaviour, before they become major problems. It should be done in a respectful manner, but each team member needs to know what they are responsible for achieving and what is expected of them.
What makes a great coach?
The Sherpa Guide defines the top 10 qualities of a good coach as:
- Good listener
- Inquisitive ‐ ask great questions, as they create a learning environment
- Objective observer
- Straightforward, direct and honest (even blunt)
- Intuitive ‐ trust your instincts
The International Coach Federation (ICF) developed the core coaching competencies, amongst which we can find:
- Ethics ‐ understanding of coaching ethics and standards and ability to apply them appropriately in all coaching situations
- Establishing trust – the ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust
- Active Listening – the ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires and to support client self‐expression
- Direct communication – the ability to communicate effectively during coaching sessions, and to use language that has the greatest positive impact on the client
- Powerful questioning – the ability to ask questions that reveal information needed for maximum benefit to the coaching relationship and the client
- Planning and goal setting – the ability to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client
- Designing Action
- Managing progress and accountability
It seems clear to me that managers should make use of these core coaching competencies in order to improve not only their own performance but that of their teams.
And here’s how: