Coaching in the Workplace

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.

Our Coaching Skills eBooks will help you to develop your coaching skills by giving you an understanding of the principles of successful coaching as well as the popular models that you can use to help you.

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.

Benefits of Coaching for Organizations

Most importantly you as coach and your coachee (the individual to be coached) must understand and acknowledge coaching is a collaborative process designed to create changes. Your best success will be when you as coach assume that the coachee knows more about their own situation than you do.

Coaching Responsibilities

This places the coachee in a better position to develop the insights and ideas needed to create the desired change. The collaborative nature of this type of relationship makes the responsibilities of both parties easier to understand.

As the coach you are responsible for three actions:

  • Keeping the focus of the discussion on a clearly defined goal, which has been set by the coachee.
  • Facilitating the coachee’s thinking to enable a fresh perspective.
  • Delivering constructive feedback through questioning and active listening.

The coachee in turn is responsible for:

  • Generating ideas and options to resolve the problem so that the goal can be attained.
  • Deciding what actions need to be taken and ensuring they are performed so that the goal is achieved.
  • Regularly reporting on progress throughout the whole process.

This is usually more difficult than it sounds because it is all too easy to let the responsibilities become confused. You need to adopt the coach behaviors at all times and resist reverting to your role as manager. When the responsibilities become blurred the coaching process can break down resulting in frustration and annoyance.


Coaching Behaviors

As coach your skills require you to focusing on the goal, actively listen to what is being said by the coachee, use a variety of question types to tease the ideas from the coachee, and be non-judgmental in the feedback you give.

These skills require you to make a conscious effort to control you initial instincts when a problem arises. You have to resist wanting to direct, resolve and judge the situation. Instead as coach you need to be the catalyst for change in a non-judgmental way by taking on the role of facilitator, listener and questioner.

It is critical in this ‘goal-focused conversation’ that you keep discussion centered on what a solution would look like and how it could be achieved. You must make a conscious effort not to assign blame for the problem. Nor can you give in to your overriding temptation to simply tell someone how to do it.

Coaching Success Factors

Any coaching opportunities require certain aspects to be present in order to be successful.

  • The coachee must need to achieve something
  • They are prevented from doing so by ‘something’
  • The solution takes account of the current obstacles and situation

Coaching can be defined simply as skillful questioning to bring out the best in people, helping them achieve their goals. It is concerned with helping them to realize their potential and ensuring that they have the skills, understanding, knowledge, and motivation to succeed.

It is about helping an individual shift their perspective, level of confidence, skill, motivation, or attitude. Coaching benefits you and your team by encouraging communication and feedback between members. This in turn helps to develop openness and an atmosphere of trust and honesty.

There are several tried and tested coaching models available for you to use, such as GROW, TGROW, and OSKAR.

The GROW model is easily understood and straightforward to apply. It is an acronym of Goal, Reality, Obstacles, and Way forward. The ‘Goal’ is the endpoint that the coachee wants to achieve. It must be SMART so that the individual knows when it is attained. The ‘Reality’ requires the current issues and the challenges to be stated before an assessment of how far the coachee is away from their goal can be made. The ‘Obstacles’ stopping the coachee attaining their goal need to be identified so that the coachee can come up with different ‘options,’ or ways to deal with them. The ‘Way forward’ involves defining the necessary action steps required to achieve the goal.

The TGROW model was developed by Myles Downey, who felt that the addition of the item ‘Topic’ would make it more relevant to management coaching. This item enables both the coach and the coachee to understand the ‘context’ of the issue to be addressed.

OSKAR is an acronym for Outcome, Scaling, Know-how & Resources, Affirm & Action, and Review, and involves the coach asking questions in such a way as to move the coachee’s attention away from problems in favor of solutions.

The ‘Outcome’ is the difference that the coachee (and those around them) wants to see as a result of the coaching.

‘Scaling’ determines to what extent the coachee believes the current situation is working.

‘Know-how and Resources’ enables the coachee to establish what factors are already contributing to getting the situation closer to the desired outcome.

‘Affirm and Action’ helps to build the coachee’s self-belief, as well as enhancing their relationship with their coach. OSKAR represents a solution-based approach to coaching that accepts that people have problems rather than them being the problem!

Descriptions of these models and the principles of coaching are available in our new area of Coaching in the Workplace eBooks. Don’t miss out on the benefits coaching can bring you and your team.

Key Points

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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