Coaching in the workplace

You hear the term coaching being thrown around a lot in business, but what is it and are we doing it right?

It’s important to understand that coaching in the workplace takes a different view on the subject compared to that of sports of a vocal coach. Within the business world, the key to a successful coaching relationship is about working together and having strong collaboration. In my view, a coach will not take on an autocratic style of leadership but will work with the team member through transformational techniques to identify the problem, understand what the end target needs to be and propose a plan for the improvement of performance.

For many managers, the implementation of coaching in the workplace is often challenging to bring into action; this is mainly due to the manager being used to directing the flow of work in a typical day, rather than working with the team member alongside each other on the overall project performance. Through coaching, the coach (who could be the manager) acts more as the facilitator to guide the team member to understand where the problem lies and to help them achieve that point of self-realisation.

The British Journal of Administrative Management makes reference to coaching taking a holistic view of the individual, work and the corporate values. It also states that coaching is about understanding the personal needs and development to ensure work and personal accomplishment sync, and not against each other!

When we start to analyse coaching in the workplace, it focuses on improvement in performance against the corporate targets alongside concentrating on the personal goals. The coach would use information and data on past performance to understand the team members needs and then build an effective conversation centred on the person. The information which they would use doesn’t mean that the coach is going to look only at the business needs, it allows them to spark the right conversation with the team members best interests at the centre of it to turn the situation around and support them in their mission, career and prosperity.

A good coach will have several essential characteristics which will support the team member; these include trustworthy, confidence, excellent listening skills, accountability, consistent with work and to provide probing and realistic questions. One of the most crucial elements of being a good coach is about having the understanding of self-confidence which is often seen to shine on the team member during the coaching sessions which take place.

So next time you hear the word coaching being thrown into conversations in the workplace, make sure everyone is aware of what the coaching pathway consists of and how it should be delivered.

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