So you want to be a better leader and get the most out of your team by coaching them?

Posted in : HR Updates on 3 September 2014
Paul Fieldhouse
Hyperion Growth
Issues covered:

Paul Fieldhouse writes:

Let's look at how we coach.

Of course to be a great coach we must have high levels of Emotional Capital, something we have discussed in many of the previous articles.

Coaching is one of the keys to the effective leadership by your supervisors and managers of their teams.

It is important to understand that you need to practice and learn the skills and behaviours of coaching, please don’t believe you can read my article and just begin to coach your team, go register on a course and learn the skills in the right environment with a professional coach.

One great model of coaching was developed by Sir John Whitmore back in the 1980’s and this is a simple but effective model which we can use to give structure to the coaching process.

The Coaches Tools!

Remember, the coaches vital tools are being great at asking the right questions and to “be present” when listening to the response.

Being present is not as simple as it sounds, it’s a real discipline and it’s the discipline of being able to totally focus on the individual and what information they are giving to you. The temptation of thinking about what your next question is or even your next meeting or perhaps something that’s happening in your personal life must be cleared from your head.

It is believed that parents who can be truly present with their children will find out if they are being bullied at school at a much earlier stage than those who just spend time with their kids but are not “present”.
A model for coaching.
So the mnemonic stands for;

G Goal
R Reality
O Options
W The way forward

In a business context we need to be careful, a coach does not need to have a high degree of technical knowledge in the area or discipline you are coaching in!

Is Rory McIlroy’s coach better at golf than he is? Of course not or he would be the one winning the tournaments, what he does is stand on the outside and look in.

The greatest coaches understand that their best performing athletes have moved beyond their own ability, it is their role to nurture the individuals or teams to achieve results way beyond their own capability.

Of course in business our internal coaches tend to be team members who are senior to us and therefore likely to have this knowledge of the discipline we are coaching in and so we need to take care we don’t end up Mentoring or even worse “Telling” which is not coaching! (see our previous article for the explanation of the difference between coaching and Mentoring).

So in the initial stage its G for Goal setting, so ask questions to establish what it is that your coachee wishes to achieve, remembering the mnemonic SMART, so is it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Once set we need to establish the current reality, this establishes the starting point and if there is any missing information they need in order to achieve their goal.

The goal and current reality established next we explore what the options are that we have to begin the journey of achieving the goal or goals.

I believe in the Kaizen theory that its not one big action that achieves change but what’s more effective are a series of small steps that result in enduring change.

And finally establish a commitment from the coachee to achieving the goal and taking the agreed actions, accountability and ownership of the coachee is what you as a coach need to establish through the coaching process.

So to finish up, these tips are only tips, I reiterate coaching is a powerful process of achieving change in an individual and one that requires practiced skills learnt from a professional.

Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life!

This article is correct at 21/10/2015

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Paul Fieldhouse
Hyperion Growth

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