Techniques to help you coach like a professional
Internal coaching provide lessons from within
Outside coaches are increasingly popular -- but as helpful as many
coaches are, they are no substitute for the internal leadership only
you can provide to your employees.
You donít need a degree in education to be a coach. Your business
skills, leadership instincts and personal intuition can go a long way.
And techniques developed by the coaching profession can help you train
your team and counsel your employees:
Tailor your message
No two employees respond to the same coaching approach. Discover
what learning style works best with each employee. Some respond to
emotions, others respond better to logic, for example. Assessment tools
like the Birkman Workstyle Analysis can offer insights into the best
ways to coach individuals and teams.
Talk with, not at
Too many supervisors talk at their employees instead of talking with
them. Listening is the least-effective learning method -- use every
technique at your disposal to create a memorable learning experience,
including experiential learning, dialogue, storytelling, and
Just as different people respond to different coaching styles,
different situations require different coaching methods. Clarion
University uses a five-step coaching model:
Education -- Best used to impart fresh information or orient new employees
Sponsorship -- When a subjectís skills are highly developed
Encouragement -- To affirm good performance or make small corrections
Counseling -- To facilitate problem-solving
Confrontation -- Private communication to improve performance and give direct feedback
Coaching is not a spectator sport. People do not learn much sitting
passively listening to coaches and trainers. ďThey must talk about what
they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences and
apply it to their daily lives,Ē says the University of Hawaii.
There are things learners know, things they donít know, and things that
they donít even know they donít know. Learners need feedback to benefit
from coaching, including opportunities to perform and receive
suggestions for improvement, review what theyíve learned, assess what
need to know, and learn how to assess themselves.
Communicate objectively, directly and clearly. Share some of your own
experiences, being careful to listen and not overwhelm the
process. And remember that coaching is not about you but your subject.
Coaching the coacher
There are many excellent training programs that will help you improve
your coaching techniques. Some programs provide certification in a
little as four days. If coaching is a big part of your job, consider
attending one of these training programs.
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