The use of coaching within organisations, whether formally (through structured internal or external coaching arrangements) or informally, as an element of a style of conversation is becoming recognised as a powerful tool for individual and organisational development. Organisations are increasingly seeking to develop ’coaching cultures’.

What is coaching?

Coaching is used as an approach to enable individuals and teams move forward in a certain direction through generating greater awareness, responsibility and choice. For example, in a line manager’s informal coaching conversation with a team member, coaching might consist of the manager and team member talking about things the team member wants to change and the line manager helping the team member develop motivation and momentum towards achieving the change. Good coaching is a facilitative process unlocking capability through guiding and questioning rather than teaching and instructing, and thus, the ‘coachee’ takes greater responsibility for the outcome and action resulting from the conversation.

Who can benefit from a coaching approach?

People enlist the services of a coach because they want to improve their situations and achieve goals. They want to learn new ways of thinking and approaching situations, in order to get better results. Common goals might be being more effective and organised at work, gaining confidence in certain situations, or simply relating to other people more effectively. Often, coaching is associated specifically with the talent pipeline or senior managers and directors although from the description above, it can be understood that any team member will benefit.

What are the core skills of coaching?

A coaching approach uses a combination of observation, questioning, listening and feedback to create a conversation rich in insight and learning. For the coachee, they will experience a focus and attention that will enable them to develop a greater awareness and appreciation of their own circumstances. In addition, they will also create new ways to resolve issues, produce better results and generally achieve goals more easily.

What can be the benefits of a coaching approach?

Common benefits people experience from coaching include:

  • Improved performance
  • Improved sense of direction and focus
  • Increased knowledge of self / self-awareness
  • Improved ability to relate to and influence others
  • Increased motivation
  • Improved performance effectiveness, e.g. focussed effort
  • Increased resourcefulness / resilience, e.g. ability to handle change
  • Increased confidence

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