Coaching, as a skill, refers to the ability to instruct, direct, and train a person or a group of people to achieve a given goal or develop some specific skills.
The coach (the person who carries out coaching) is responsible for supporting his learner(s) or client(s) in achieving their desired professional or personal goals.
Coaching involves becoming highly engaged and committed to theclient’s progress. Coaching does not emphasize on monitoring and implementing strict standards whatsoever but rather, it is a flexible way of developing higher levels of performance.
Coaching is geared towards raising employee commitment levels to attain better performance and organizational goals.
Although coaching is a professional course and a profession on its own, it is a skill that must be developed by managers, workers who play some kind of managerial role, or any leader of a group.
Importance of Coaching
In every organization, employees want to be successful in their respective fields. Some may be highly skilled in their area of work whiles others may have little rough edges that need smoothening.
Coaching provides an avenue through which timely feedback for work progress is given, where great performance is recognized, and clarity of instruction as well as support is provided to workers.
In general, coaching:
- Ensures that a motivating climate for performance is developed in organizations.
- Ensures that the gap between actual and expected performance is bridged
- Increases the probability of an employee’s success throughthe provision of timely feedback, recognition, clarity and support.
- Increases the probability of employees’ success through timely feedback, recognition and support.
- Instills discipline among employees and provides a sense of direction.
As a manager or group leader, great coaching skills will helpincrease your workers’ commitment towards work which will leadto a great record of success stories. Obviously, that will beef up your CV.
How to improve on coaching skills
Coaching involves four main functions that can be mastered.
- Providing direction: A coach is responsible for developing and briefing team members on the team’s goals. He must ensure that this is done with clear and concise instructions, eliminating any possibility of ambiguity. The coach must make sure that each worker is aware of their roles and that they know how their respective roles contribute towards achieving the team’s goals. Tips: Let members understand priorities and focus on top priorities rather than trivial ones. Provide adequate technical direction and hire an expert to help in technical matters which are beyond your scope.
- Triggering thoughtful thinking: As a coach, one of your responsibilities is developing the client’s problem solving and decision making abilities. People have the ability to reason but until this is triggered, they might never crack their brains. It is your responsibility to bring out the best in your client(s); their creative ideas and peculiar skills. Tips: Ask them challenging or thought provoking questions. Provide supplementary learning materials and information to improve their understanding.
- Improving Performance: Employees have their default performance levels. However, the coach is responsible for creating an enabling environment for personal development. Tips: Find a means to assess and grade the present capabilities of team members and provide feedback to either correct or commend on a frequent and timely basis. Create an environment that promotes risk taking and creativity, where mistakes are seen as lessons to be learned, and shortcomings as opportunities for skill development.
- Eliminating Obstacles: There are situations where a condition or a colleague(s) may become an obstacle(s) to the progress of an employee. Tips: Develop effective ways to confront situations or colleagues who may become a hindrance or a delimiting factor to an employee’s development.