Coaching has attracted much attention in recent years as a method of developing senior leaders and executives. Coaching is also a popular tool for developing employee potential and work performance. Coaching is now seen as a key ingredient in improving employee engagement in organisations.
When used appropriately, coaching can be a cost-effective approach to development, focusing on specific individuals and their identified development needs. The need to recruit new employees can be reduced by developing the skills of existing employees. Coaching can also improve motivation, leading to a reduction in staff turnover. It sends a positive message to employees that the organisation values its staff, and creates a sense of achievement for both those acting as coaches and those receiving support from a coach. Coaching is most effective when conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect.
Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring
Coaching differs from mentoring in that it deals with specific tasks and skills that can be mastered and measured; mentoring focuses on longer-term development or progress within an organisation. A further distinction between coaching and mentoring is that coaching is often a line management function, whereas mentoring is almost always out of the line.
Coaches need excellent interpersonal skills including:
- a caring, patient and supportive approach
- an awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses
- good verbal and non-verbal communication
- good listening and questioning skills.
Coaching Best Practice and Process Checklist
- Gain support and recognition from the organisation and recognise barriers to coaching
- Plan your approach before starting the session
- Establish the most appropriate approach to learning
- Identify potential opportunities for coaching
- Carry out the coaching session using your chosen coaching model
- Review progress
- Plan interim developments
- Monitor performance and progress