It's all to easy for someone with a vested interest in training people to improve their coaching skills (i.e. me!) to glibly claim that coaching skills are really important and that every manager should have a good grasp of them, and to trot out the usual platitudes ('coaching skills are key competencies that are leveraged by a coach or leader to help develop others', 'coaching skills are the secret ingredient to unlocking your team members’ full potential'. Look important but mean nothing.).
So let's think it through objectively: what are the skills of an effective coach?; what effect do they have on working relationships?; what effect do they have on the performance of the person being coached?; what effect do they have on the person learning the skills?; what effect do they have on the business?
Let's start by saying that coaching is not about driving someone to do what the company wants. It is not about bending people out of shape to fit the company mould. It IS about working together to serve the best interests of the company, the team and the individual. The coaching relationship is necessarily based on mutual trust, confidentiality, respect and non-judgment. It requires sensitive, open and honest communication and a deepening, shared understanding of what each individual brings to the relationship. It aims to achieve personal, professional, team and business goals through collaboration and cooperation. It is based on clarity of direction, clarity of personal, professional and business goals, consistency, persistence and self-belief in both parties. It is based on effective questioning and effective feedback.
The consequences of enhancing these skills in an organisation can be far-reaching. Where there were silos and 'them and us', we find collaboration, cooperation and negotiation. Where there was uncertainty we find better alignment, focus and engagement. People find it easier to handle their own problems. Easier to handle those inevitable conflicts of style and interest. Staff turnover falls because people want to stay and grow in your company because it is rewarding and fulfilling. People care more, are more energised and take more interest in the future of the business and their own development plans. They become more self-aware, more resilient, more accountable, more skilled communicators and, ultimately, more productive.
We offer two coaching skills trainings:
The aim of these two trainings is to help you build a strong foundation of coaching skills within your team. 'Essential Coaching Skills' to set a baseline of practical skills for people at any level to foster more effective communication and personal growth. 'Coaching Skills Foundation' is intended to give people in a management role a strong level of competency in the core skills of the coach: skills they can use in their everyday work; skills they can take forward into more extensive coaching training.