Understanding Good Practice in Workplace Coaching
What is coaching – “The coach works with the clients to achieve a speedy, increased and sustainable effectiveness in their lives and careers through focused learning.The coach’s sole aim is to work with the client to achieve all of the client’s potential-as defined by the client” The Coaching Manual Starr, J 2008.There are fundamental personal qualities, coaching competencies and skills that are needed to become a good coach.
These include but are not limited to Be an active listener this is when the coach is focused on what you are saying, recording facts and paying attentionCapable of building rapport this can be done with being a good observer of body language and non verbal clues and by sameness of voice, language, beliefs and values.
Rapport is important in the coaching relationship builds up trust between the coach and client which is important for the client to feel comfortable within the coaching relationship. Be open and genuine this is showing how you are feeling and not hiding behind a mask this encourages the client to feel safe to admit their own feelings and the impact that this may have on the coaching relationship.Be able to empathise this is the listeners desire and effort to try and understand the situation from the clients point of view. This then encourages the client to explore their problems and self more deeply Questioning Techniques to enable client to stop and think – this includes the skills of the catalytic toolkit, through open and closed questioning, emphatic divining and checking understanding, paraphrasing and logical marshalling and simple and selective echoing, so that you can have a clear understanding of what it is that the client is saying.Being self aware of their own values, preferences and learning styles, while being non-judgemental to those of others Use intuition and insight Raise self awareness and responsibility in the client Challenge self-limiting beliefs. Being future focused, this is where the coach the client to acknowledge events from the past, but coaching is about how the client can improve their work life in the future.When setting up a coaching session a way in which the coach can ensure that the coach carries out the coaching relationship in a professional manner, is to set up a contract with the client prior to the start of the relationship.
This may be either written or verbal but should include both the coach and clients expectations, responsibilities if the worst fears materialise, it should also include the issues of confidentiality, boundaries and professional and ethical conduct.It is important that the client is assured that any information revealed in the coaching session is confidential and kept that way, this promotes trust and confidence in the relationship, which in turn will promote openness. Learning styles and barriers to learning can be by the VARK to give a profile of learning preferences of how a person takes in and gives out information or Tidwell and Rodgers Practical learning styles Questionnaire. The VARK learning styles determines if the person learns by being a theorist, reflector, activist and/or pragmatist.The practical learning styles questionnaire looks at how people learn by their orientation, whether they are a realistic or creative, by their interaction, are they a doer or a thinker, by how they represent things, either by words or pictures, and how they process information, whether they are a surface or deep processor. There are many other tools which can be used to ensure that the coaching is personalised to the client. These may include motivation level (Maslow), Emotional Intelligence and Personality Assessment.
Barriers to effective coaching can be either personal or organisational.Personal may include things such as being forced to do it, it can be seen as admitting failure, no motivation, lack of trust, and not understanding what coaching is? Organisational examples may include, used to manage performance, hierarchal structures, and lack of understanding or used as a control mechanism. To help break down these barriers, we need to establish what is causing the barriers, provide factual evidence of the need to improve, build trust with the coachee and within the organisation, acknowledge the past, but focus on the future is clear about your role as a coach and work to the client’s agenda.To facilitate a coaching session we must prepare both ourselves and the client to ensure the best possible outcome from the coaching session. Prior to the coaching session it is good to speak to the client or to supply information about what coaching is and what to expect. You should then arrange a mutually agreeable time and place for the coaching session to take place, and an estimate of the time available for the session.We as the coach require to prepare ourselves by ensuring if it is the first session that we have a learning styles questionnaire, and also how to prepare to ensure that we understand the clients values (culture, family, peers) beliefs (which , can be self limiting, inaccurate/not true).
Prepare the tools which we are to use, e. g. Catalytic toolkit, GROW, 3D Model. We should also prepare the required paperwork to be used throughout the session that may include Coach Development log, Client Form and Coaches Form; these will record how the session was undertaken.The Checklist for conducting a session can be used as an aid memoire, and a structure to ensure that the coaching session is undertaken in a logical manner, A Grow Session Record for the benefit of the coach and a Session record to ensure that there is a record kept of the goals for session and the action plan agreed by both parties, and also separate paper for taking notes to enable the coach to remain focused. Each spate client should have their own separate file containing all records of coaching sessions to enable progress and achievement to be monitored.