Coaching is a way of teaching and learning that is being used much more often in the workplace today. The reason for this is the unique benefits that coaching can offer– it helps to improve the learning process because people can help direct their own learning through questioning, listening, and taking on challenges in a supportive atmosphere.
But coaching well is a skill all its own. And many leaders overestimate their skill at coaching. It is both a science and an art.
Coaching as a science covers different models and methods. For example, there is the GROW model of coaching, which is one of the most popular methods.
Grow stands for goal, reality, options, and will.
In thinking about goals, coaches and their followers are establishing what they want to achieve, what the bigger picture is.
After establishing goals, the next step in the model is labeled reality – looking at your current situation, the resources available to enable you to achieve your goals, and the obstacles you may be facing.
After doing a reality check, it is time to explore options for moving ahead. To help in doing this, think about how you approach the problem or assignment if you had as much time as you wanted to do it.
The final step in the model is labeled will. This describes the actions you need to take and how you will measure the outcome of those actions.
But coaching is an art as well science. And that means it involves the use of imagination, emotions, and judgment. Here are some ways to better practice coaching as an art.
1. Paying attention
Coaching is about more than just problem solving. As a coach, that should not be your only consideration. As you talk with your team member, you need to also be attuned to the issues and concerns that may come up in the course of the conversation, even though they may not be related to the original problem that you have focused on.
Paying attention to all these other factors and addressing them will improve your coaching and the performance of the team member.
2. A suitable coaching style
Your style of coaching needs to fit with your own unique personality, values, and character. You have to draw on your own strengths and skills to empower and motivate the person you are working with.
3. Listening .
You need to listen with an open mind and without judgment, to let the person feel free to express their problems and vent about their frustrations, to discuss what they feel is important to them. They need to feel that they are in a safe and supportive environment.