What Is Workplace Coaching?
You most often associate coaching with a sports team. The workplace also needs coaches and coaching in order to be successful. Just like athletes need to be coached to reach their full potential, your employees in the workplace also need to be coached. Coaching is defined as training or development that helps a learner achieve a goal. For example, an athlete's goal may be to achieve running a six-minute mile. A coach would help the athlete to achieve that goal. In the workplace, an employee goal may be to improve his speaking skills. A coach would help this person achieve his or her goal of speaking better in public.
Benefits & Importance
Some companies only use coaching when someone is not performing up to the company's standard. Coaching should be used as a positive way to develop employees. There are many benefits coaching can have on a company. First, coaching can help to improve the workforce of a company. Some companies focus on hiring employees that have the right education, but may not have the real-life experience. Coaching can help to bridge the gap between education experience and work experience to get an employee acclimated with the company's expectations. Companies that focus on coaching these employees will reduce their turnover since the employee is not thrown into the workplace without coaching. Second, coaching can help with employee morale. A company that spends time coaching employees to help them improve will have employees that are more loyal and happier. Third, coaching helps to achieve organizational goals. The company can incorporate its overall goals with coaching in order to produce a team that matches the organizational goals.
After seeing the benefits and importance of coaching, it is important that your company has effective coaches. A company can roll out a coaching program but if it is not effective, the company will not see the benefits of it. In order to coach effectively you have to build trust and establish a relationship. Could you imagine meeting someone and instantly having him tell you things you need to improve in your life? This is why it is important to establish trust and a relationship in coaching. Coaching also needs to be encouraging and motivational.
A coach should not be like a personal trainer that you pay to yell at you until you finish your workout. In the workplace, this type of coaching will not be beneficial for the coach or the person being coached. In the workplace people want to be encouraged and motivated otherwise they might feel like they cannot accomplish their goals. At the same time a coach needs to balance motivation with driving results. The coach needs to be able to help the person get to his goal, and in order to do that, the coach will need to challenge the person and drive him or her to achieve his or her goals. Coaching is a balancing act, but if the right relationship is developed effective coaching will be possible.
Behaviors & Tactics
Effective coaching involves certain tactics and behaviors. In order to be able to build a relationship, motivate, and hold someone accountable, a coach needs to have certain behaviors and tactics, including:
Coaching involves helping to set goals as well as achieve them. An effective coach needs to be able to help the person he is mentoring establish goals. Some employees may not know exactly what they want to achieve and will need help. Others may have goals, but they might need help breaking those goals down into clear, achievable steps.
Effective coaching uses problem solving to help the person they are coaching. It is not enough to just motivate someone. When trying to help someone achieve his goals, a coach needs to be able to help come up with solutions to challenges that may arise.
Providing Valuable Feedback
Coaching also involves being able to provide valuable feedback in order to help the person that is being coached improve. A coach needs to be able to communicate clear feedback that will help someone achieve his goal.
In order to effectively coach, there needs to be support. The person being coached needs to feel that the coach is invested. A coach can provide support by helping collaborate and acknowledging small achievements along the way.
Let's briefly review what we have learned. Coaching is needed in the workplace and is not just something that is practiced in sports. Coaching is training or development that helps someone achieve a goal and companies are realizing the importance of coaching. The benefits of coaching can improve the workforce of a company, improve employee morale, and help achieve organizational goals. Effective coaching involves building a relationship with trust, motivation, and accountability. Strategic behaviors and tactics for coaching include goal setting, problem solving, providing feedback, and providing support.
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- What is the definition of coaching in the workplace?
- What is the importance of properly defining goals when deciding on the best way to coach?
- Should the same coaching techniques be applied across all jobs? Why or why not?
- One of the benefits of coaching is that it can help to bridge the gap between educational experience and real-world experience. Consider a time when you started a job that you were not 100% capable of doing on your own when you first started. What coaching techniques did your boss or someone else at your job use to get you the knowledge necessary to complete your job tasks fully and successfully?
- What makes a coach successful and effective in the workplace? What traits do you think will help a coach be a good one?
- There are four general behaviors and tactics that will help make a coaching experience a successful one. For each of these (see below), think of experiences you have had in your professional or personal life where these behaviors and tactics were and were NOT applied. What was the outcome when they were applied? What about when they were not? For all of your answers, explain why you think the outcome occurred.
- Goal Setting
- Problem Solving
- Providing Valuable Feedback
- Providing Support
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