COACHING SKILLS Written by Steven J. Stowell, PhD
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observation of performance, followed by constructive feedback an investment in helping others succeed a focus on performance and achieving results courage to address difficult issues, and engage others in growth opportunities time to help people improve as jobs, technology, and markets change
Coaching is a process, not an event. It is ongoing and consistent way in which we present ourselves, and through which we build and maintain relationships with others. Coaching is not a top-down weapon you use on a subordinate. Coaching is a partnership designed to tap into knowledge, information, synergy, and talents people bring to problem solving process. Coaching Behaviors
A good coach:
- promotes open and constructive discussion
- is comfortable with differences
- uses authority and power sparingly
- is not demeaning or disrespectful of others
- creates a safe environment for interaction, disclosure, and information flow
- shares views, facts, and information in a non-threatening manner
- is open to new ideas, and to possibility that he/she has an incomplete understanding of situation
- focuses on learning and change
- strengthens and empowers others
- maintains high expectations and performance standards
- unleashes motivation and creativity
Coaching skills are not “found,” they are actively “developed” by people who want to lead and be an influence in their organization. Coaching takes some time (but not a lot of time). Time is an important ingredient and you will need discipline to manage all priorities and business demands leaders face today. Extra time isn’t going to come looking for you. You have to think of coaching is an investment.
Coaching also takes energy. You will need to pick your battles and decide what is important and what isn’t. Your coaching effort is an asset that must be deployed wisely.
Coaching takes courage. There is always a risk that someone could feel hurt or take offense when you put microscope on some element of his or her performance. Don’t take reactions personally. You should be more concerned if people don’t react, if they seem indifferent. If you inadvertently touch a nerve, or if people are extremely sensitive, you will need to draw on your support account.
Finally, be patient and persistent. Change frequently happens slowly for people. If you encounter someone who wants to make a quantum leap, it’s a real bonus. Enjoy it, but remember that real work of a leader is helping those who don’t immediately recognize need or opportunity to improve. Keep in mind that when you coach you won’t be receiving accolades and embraced as a hero. Most people need time to process and grasp magnitude of what you are conveying to them.
Learning to be a good coach is a life long journey. The learning you are about to engage in represents a solid step along that journey. Enjoy trip, participate and ask questions in workshop, trust yourself in practice sessions, and learn from your colleagues.
Steven J. Stowell, PhD, is the Co-Founder of the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness, Inc.
To learn more about CMOE’s Coaching Skills model please contact a Regional Manager at (801)569-3444 and discover what 100,000 managers have learned around the world.
Ode to A SpoonWritten by Deirdre Maigread McEachern
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Should something meet an untimely end, I am sad. But I also thank them for their loyal service for as long as they existed, and use their passing as an opportunity to bring another beautiful, dutiful item into service.
Now, having said this, I do not purchase $1000 spoons or $500 ceramic vases. If one is prepared to replace broken items one must be operating with one's own financial comfort zone. However, ask yourself: would you rather own an expensive item that you rarely enjoy or own something within your financial means that you enhances your life days on end?
I am offering, I suppose, a slightly different view of materialism. It's a different way of looking at objects in your world, one where you have a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
I know, you're thinking, "she's really gone off deep end this time." But honestly, this perspective encourages you to notice beauty surrounding you and conveniences you enjoy and be grateful for them. This in turn brings positive feelings into your life, what I call Material Contentment.
The next time you eat with a nice spoon or sit on a soft sofa, take a moment to realize how lucky you are to be guardian of such an object. Has it been loyal in service to you? Have you shown it respect and admiration in return?
Today is a great day to start talking to inanimate objects. Why not begin by saying "Thanks" to your favorite piece of silverware?
Deirdre Maigread McEachern is an experienced writer, speaker and personal coach who works one-on-one to help her clients find their ideal career and create more balance in their lives. You can contact Deirdre at 207-439-4280, firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for her free e-newsletter at www.vip-coaching.com/news.