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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Coaching Do’s and Don’ts for Developing People

Coaching is a critical platform for successful organizational change and learning initiatives. Organizations in the midst of today's changes need coaching to effectively communicate and facilitate where the organization is and where it is headed.

A coach's role is role equip people with the tools, knowledge, and opportunity they need to develop themselves. Development is not an event. It is an ongoing process.

Coaching isn't an occasional conversation; it's a continuous process.

Coaching isn't something you do to people, it's something you do with people.

Coaching isn't about fixing problem behaviors, it's about cultivating capabilities.

Coaching isn't a one-way relationship in which you have all the answers; it's a partnership in which both people share responsibility.

Coaching doesn't need to take a great deal of your time.

While there are many techniques and tools for coaching, it is useful to have an overall approach that unifies what you are doing.  Adopt a systematic approach to coaching with the help of these strategies:

Forge a partnership: Build a trust and understanding.  Trust allows people to know that you are interested in them.  Understanding enables you to be most helpful.

Inspire communication: Build insight and motivation so that people are committed to change and focus their energy on goals that matter to them and to the organization.

Grow skills: Help identify effective ways to learn new knowledge and to grow and develop skills and capabilities.

Promote persistence: Support people in their development even when they get discouraged or diverted.

Shape the environment: Build organizational support to reward learning and remove barriers.

Coaches, even those with the best intentions, consistently make common mistakes.  Being aware of these mistakes will help you catch yourself before you make them and give you a chance to redirect your efforts.

Explaining or talking instead of listening.  Set your mind on exploring, not fixing.  Let go of your desire to help, motivate, or change people, and instead try to understand them.  Assume that no two people are exactly alike in their values, goals, motives, and experiences.

Advising before understanding.  Suspend your agenda.  Focus on listening and concentrate on learning more about people's goals and what matters to them.

Problem solving.  Help people solve their own problems instead of solving them yourself.  It's like the saying about a fish and fishing: it's more powerful to teach people something than to give them something.

Repeating your views when you meet resistance.  Seek to see the world through the eyes of the people you are coaching.  Ask questions to help them clarify their own thinking.  For your coaching to have an impact, people need to believe that you understand them.

Coaching is about working with people to show them new possibilities and assist them in taking actions previously not obvious to them. Coaching is the capability to alter or shift the structures of interpretation, the context, the ground of being within which people normally operate. It is the means by which people development becomes a process of continuous learning integrated with people's daily work lives.   In this sense, introducing coaching competencies into an organization is a very powerful strategy for modifying or creating a culture which is more adaptable to change and growth.

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