Taking a coaching mentality to your management process is the answer to many kinds of organizational ills. It is about making sense of complex experiences, unlocking a person’s potential to solving their own problems and is more often about asking good questions than giving right answers. If you want a commitment culture rather than simple compliance, successful coaching may provide a lot of the keys. At EDS, we start with the DiSC assessment to help managers understand themselves and how they interact with others. That is, helping them increase awareness of their own communication styles, and those of their counterparts.
Coaching is a key component alongside goal setting, regular reviews and reward. We provided training in questioning, active listening, giving and receiving feedback, generating options and implementing action plans. We believe that coaching skills alone are, however, insufficient to engender and support change at individual and organizational levels. The spirit of coaching is about establishing a special quality of relationship and conversation that engenders awareness-raising, learning, responsibility and commitment that extends well beyond simple task achievement. It demands conscious attention to personal intention, ethos, empathy and relational climate.
By fostering a genuine spirit of coaching, developing a deeper level of inquiry and ensuring individuals have the space to find their own solutions, managers and coaches can make a significant change to the culture of an organization. People typically experience greater personal satisfaction at work, grow in their ability to deal with complexity, ambiguity and change, and develop emotional intelligence alongside practical skills and enhanced performance.
Here’s how to embed the spirit of coaching in your workplace:
- Engage in personal development to understand and address your own motivations, anxieties, hot spots etc. so they don’t impinge negatively on the coaching process.
- Establish a coaching relationship that is underpinned by positive intention, empathy and genuine commitment to the coachee’s development.
- Encourage the coachee to take responsibility for his or her own learning and performance, albeit with your support alongside.
- Agree on goals and standards together, giving the coachee first opportunity to scope out requirements, explore issues, work out solutions etc.
- Challenge coachees to grow in awareness of how they are learning and performing, e.g. by seeking feedback from stakeholders and developing the practice of reflection.
- Review the organization’s culture as a whole to ensure consistency with a coaching spirit.
Learning to coach by first learning one’s own communication style sets managers up for success-and by association, management and coaching will have be more effective.
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.
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