Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-960-2 (35 Pages)
This free eBook will give you an understanding of the coaching principles you will need to run a successful coaching program. It discusses the use of external coaches and the issues that confront managers who act as coaches to their own team. It describes key aspects of coaching including: active listening, building rapport, asking questions, demonstrating empathy, using intuition, goal setting and giving feedback.
Chapter 1 - Coaching Management Style
The objective of coaching to encourage people to solve problems for themselves rather than referring them back up to their manager. In fact, managers who coach tend to place a lot of emphasis on developing the people reporting to them, and on creating an environment where people can perform as independently as possible.
Chapter 2 - Management Coaching Skills
Coaching involves the coach and the coachee working together to create changes. The main skills required by the coach involve focusing on goals, listening, asking non-leading questions, and giving non-judgmental feedback.
Chapter 3 - Differences Between Coaching and Training
Training is driven by the trainer, who will control most of both the process and the content in order to transfer knowledge or develop a new skill as efficiently as possible. In contrast, coaching is driven by questions addressed to the coachee, who then explores what they already know, but in a way that would probably not occur to them without the guidance of a coach.
Chapter 4 - Differences Between Coaching and Mentoring?
In a mentoring relationship, the advice and expertise sought from the mentor will be broad based, with the objective of developing the individual for future roles both on a career and personal level. In a coaching relationship, the coach does not typically pass on experience or give advice, but rather uses questions and feedback to facilitate the coachee's thinking and practical learning.
Chapter 5 - Internal and External Coaches - Advantages and Disadvantages
Coaching can be done using professional coaching services supplied by an independent firm or consultancy, or it can be done by the manager themselves or by someone else within the organization. As part of your decision-making process you will have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches.
Chapter 6 - Formal and Informal Coaching
Where formal coaching is being used, both the manager and the team member will be clear that they are engaged in 'coaching' and will be explicitly committed to the process. Informal coaching can happen as part of the everyday conversation between the manager and a team member if the manager is using a collaborative leadership style.
Chapter 7 - Coaching Skills for Managers
The coach must not be judgmental, must believe that the coachee is capable of improving their performance, and be committed to ongoing support. The coachee must be allowed to set the agenda, define the actions required as a result of the coaching session, and demonstrate their accountability for these actions by reporting the progress they have made in the subsequent session.
Chapter 8 - Successful Coaching Skills
There are seven key skills you need for successful coaching: active listening, building rapport, asking questions, demonstrating empathy, using intuition, goal setting, and giving feedback. Another key part of being a successful coach is the use of a coaching model that aids this learning process.
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Practical and useful
I've read a few 'big' books on coaching that made me think it was too difficult to implement with the time and resources I have available. This eBook, on the other hand, has made me think about implementing coaching principles in a less formal way. I was also interested to learn about how management coaching emerged from sports coaching - something I hadn't really thought about before. I would say that this book highlights the principles of coaching in an easy to understand and straightforward fashion. I found it really useful and well worth the time it took to read.
Recommended if you want to improve your coaching efforts
To be honest, I have always considered myself to be quite strong in the area of coaching. So when I came across this 'Coaching Principles' eBook, I wasn't all too interested because I believed I had already gathered enough skills in that arena. However, I decided to go ahead and give the book a read, and am glad that I did. While there is admittedly some content that was not anything new to me, there was more than enough new information to make it worth my time. My experience in coaching comes mostly from sports, and I always had translated that experience into the workplace. While that method is sometimes effective, it is not always the best approach. After reading this quick book, I feel that I will have more tools available to me as part of my overall coaching strategy.
Early on in this book I hit on a point that I think has probably been lacking in my coaching over the years. Since I come from a sports coaching background, I am used to giving instruction and haven't been open to feedback from the person being coached. In this way, I have missed out on the opportunity to collaborate on ideas and have everyone learn from the experience. My coaching has been too one-sided, and this book made me realize that when it discussed the importance of the collaborative process while coaching. I hope to take a more open-minded approach into future coaching sessions so that I can allow the person I am coaching to provide their valuable input to the process and make sure they feel like their opinions and ideas are being given the proper respect and consideration.
The middle of this book is the only point where it went a little off track for me. There are a couple sections where the book covers the differences between Coaching and Mentoring, and the differences between Coaching and Counseling. There is nothing wrong with these sections specifically, I just didn't feel like I got a whole lot out of them. Perhaps a different reader with different needs and experiences would find them more helpful and informative - they just didn't really hit home for me.
Later on, however, the book got back on track in terms of supplying information that I will be able to put to use. For example, I enjoyed the discussion on the differences between informal and formal coaching sessions. Typically my coaching sessions have been informal because that is how I am most comfortable, but thanks to this book I now see that there are some benefits to formal coaching sessions which I may have overlooked. While most of my future coaching efforts will probably continue to be informal in nature, I will consider setting up some formal coaching meetings to see if they can be more effective for my needs.
Lastly, the book offered a great reminder that it is not the role of the coach to judge the coachee during the process. It is easy for me, again coming from a sports background, to quickly evaluate and pass judgment on the performance of the person being coached. Instead, it is important to be more supportive and remember that the idea is to help the person improve and get closer to their goals.
Despite the middle of this book falling a little off track for me personally, I would recommend reading it if you would like to improve your coaching efforts - or just learn more about the topic. For the time that it will take to read this short book, even gaining just one or two pieces of knowledge will be well worth it.
Much more to the coaching process than I thought
Most people believe they are knowledgeable in terms of coaching and often time's use that term interchangeably with mentoring and counseling, I being one of the guilty. Wanting to improve my leadership skills, I turned to this book for what I thought would be a simple refresher, what I found was that there was much more to the process than I ever imagined. My learning began with a thorough explanation of the difference between coaching, mentoring, and counseling.
As the book progressed I also found myself learning about the differences between internal and external coaching. I found that throughout this book they provided several flow charts which were easily followed and certainly worth printing for quick reference in the future. Although I didn't realize it prior to reading this guide, I can clearly see now why using both internal and external coaches would be the best case for most business. As you will learn upon reading, an external coach is a person who is generally more trained in coaching and does not generally have regular contact with the employees. Internal coaches on the other hand are usually more of direct managers and serve as a daily point of contact for the employees. As you can imagine, someone who works daily with an employee may have a preconceived notion of an employee which can skew how they are managed. This is not always a bad thing but at times it does not afford all employees a fair shot at being heard. On the other hand, and external coach may not understand the personal goals or beliefs of an employee which could result in less effective coaching strategies. As I touched on briefly, there are also strong differences between coaches and counselors.
Sometimes employees may need a counselor to deal with developmental or personal issues. Depending on their relationship with their direct supervisor, external guidance may be preferred to avoid an awkward workplace. If you are a supervisor like me and you are reading this for your personal advancement, I suggest that you focus heavily on the flow charts the accurately and easily allow you to determine just what your employee is needing at the time, which is sometimes nothing more than a receptive ear. Another topic covered is the difference between formal and informal coaching. Although the names are fairly self-explanatory, deciding which to use can be a little more of a gray area. Once you have decided though, creating a positive environment will be crucial. Asking questions, listening, and leading are some of the key responsibilities of a good coach and have proven to be crucial to productive coaching.
In my opinion the book makes one very valid and sadly overlooked point, coaching is more about collaborating and less about controlling. Having joined the workforce a while ago, I have been subjected to many coaching styles myself, most of with are simply a task delegation session. I am glad to see that books like this have been made in order to help foster more productive workplaces and help even senior leaders learn new and more modern strategies. Lastly, if you find yourself in a workplace that is using more internal coaching when external is needed, remember the economy is tight and internal remains cheaper. As a leader and mentor to your team you should do your best to offer bias free leadership, I know that is my biggest challenge and likely yours too.
Coaching Your Team - The best way is to encourage your team members to solve their own problems without having to refer back up to you is to create an environment in which this can occur. To achieve this objective your team must have the correct level of knowledge, skills and attitude to perform their role. One effective way to do this is through the use of coaching.
Management Coaching Tips - The best way is to encourage your team members to solve problems their own problems without having to refer back up to you. To achieve this objective your team must have the correct level of knowledge, skills and attitude to perform their role. One effective way to do this is through the use of coaching. From a management perspective this can be performed as a discrete activity, management style or an integral part of your daily activities. To be successful you need to create an environment where people can perform as independently as possible.