The Power of Effective Coaching Skills

Written by Mark Wayland

The most valuable assets of a 20th century company were its production equipment. The most valuable assets of a 21st century organization … will be its knowledge, workers and their productivity. -Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker is a respected author and opinion leader (he inventedrepparttar process of “management by business objectives”) and I’m positive he would agree that one notable way to getrepparttar 142891 best performance from “workers” and maximize their “productivity” is through coaching; an interactive communication process between members of an organization aimed at exerting a positive influence on performance.

Is coaching developing some momentum? Atrepparttar 142892 2003 ASTD Conference, President Tina Sung spoke of coaching skills as being one ofrepparttar 142893 four emerging trends forrepparttar 142894 future. Type “coaching skills” into Google and you’ll find about 5 million entries. Graduate Schools of Management andrepparttar 142895 AIM run courses on it. Even my local suburban newspaper advertises coaching franchises. The AITD’s February meeting in Sydney featured Coaching and drew 85 participants. Who knows, we may soon be watching prime time TV and marvel at a cluster of coaches renovating a block of home units. Now that’s what you call acceptance!

Since coaching is something done with people, rather than to people, just how well prepared (both in skills and attitude) are managers to coach? Managers typically have an innate interpersonal technique, and so perhaps management’s perceived value of coaching can be indicated by how readily it’s being absorbed into business culture and put into practice.

Kate Farrelly reported inrepparttar 142896 Sydney Morning Herald (March 2003) that in “a study of 35,000 managers in Australia and New Zealand their leadership style is oriented towards fear of failure and denial of responsibility rather than pursuingrepparttar 142897 company’s goals and developing good staff relations.” The ASTD’s journal (T&D, March 2003) reports Mercer’s “Effective Management Practices Survey” that found “78% of employees surveyed said their managers routinely conduct annual performance reviews, (while only) 26% said managers routinely provide ongoing coaching and constructive performance feedback.” So, managers are either not coaching orrepparttar 142898 people they’re coaching don’t know when they are being coached! But this data indicates that coaching is one ofrepparttar 142899 most avoided of all leadership tasks.

So why in some managers is there a disconnect betweenrepparttar 142900 manager’s ability and/or willingness to coach and their drive to achieverepparttar 142901 organization’s goals?

Further to this disconnect, we need to makerepparttar 142902 distinction between “coaching skills” and “effective coaching”. Managers coach when they are willing and able to addressrepparttar 142903 effective and efficient performance of tasks. If coaching occurs within an obvious context of a shared vision, corporate objectives, organizational values and performance indicators then what’s achieved is effective coaching.

Finding solutions to this disconnect provides trainers with an opportunity to develop a role as a performance consultant - someone who has a primary role of improving productivity, first through analysis ofrepparttar 142904 cause ofrepparttar 142905 issue and then, designing appropriate behavior change programs. Start by understanding howrepparttar 142906 managers think. What they do and don’t react to and where their focus is aimed when it comes to people. Stop using “training language” and start using “management language” to improve understanding. Find out what business processes and outcomes managers measure in order to determine productivity and profitability. From a selfish perspective, being an advocate for coaching and being able to communicate this business case for coaching places you in a position of higher value withinrepparttar 142907 organization. You show yourself as someone who is on a similar wavelength asrepparttar 142908 managers in helping driverepparttar 142909 business.

Some managers confuse coaching with simply giving advice. As Gore Vidal said, “There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.” The reality is often that, as Gordon Dickson noted, “some people like my advice so much that they frame it uponrepparttar 142910 wall instead of using it.” So, what is another alternative, a more effective approach?

There is an increasing need to improve involvement and engagement of all employees to achieve business outcomes. Managers are continually asked to improve productivity without additional resources. One option is to enhance behavior and performance through interactive communication and influence, such as coaching. Managers need to invite employees to participate as partners, develop trusting relationships and combine everyone’s best efforts into creating business solutions. Managers also need to use their coaching skills with people within (who don’t necessarily report to them) and outside their organization.

Typical business performance indicators include productivity, employee turnover, profitability and customer satisfaction. The Gallup Organization published a study that examinedrepparttar 142911 relationship between employee perceptions and these performance indicators (Curt Coffman and Jim Harter, 1999). The study found that,


Written by Patricia Soldati

Career change is no walk inrepparttar park.   If it was easy,repparttar 142890 castle gates would have burst long ago underrepparttar 142891 stampede of restless corporate warriors. Even with a burning desire to escape,repparttar 142892 gritty issues of money and future work loom larger than life. Add inrepparttar 142893 trauma of a lost security blanket and you’ve got a love-hate relationship that keeps you marching stoically in place.   It doesn’t have to be that way. Successful career-changers take one step at a time. Learn a little…make a little progress. Learn a little more. Take a giant leap forward.

You controlrepparttar 142894 process from beginning to end. When you’re energy is strong, act boldly; when you’re feeling less confident, slow down.   Learn all you can aboutrepparttar 142895 process of change…and educate yourself aboutrepparttar 142896 most common mistakes career-changers make, too. Here’s a list ofrepparttar 142897 10 biggest – and how to avoid them.   10 Biggest Career-Change Mistakes   1. Not seriously focused. Career change is a big and amorphous creature. Like any major life event, it takes consistent focus. Don’t dabble! Jump in solidly with both feet. Schedule regular “career change” time into your calendar.

2. Poor support. Career change generally doesn’t result from just reading a book.  It requires a variety of resources and partnering with mentors who are both knowledgeable and objective. Create a “short list” of who could be most valuable to you.

3. Too few clues. To identify new work possibilities, you need a robust set of specific clues about your values, motivational preferences and skills. Start with about 20 – 25 values, passions, skills and preferences, and hone it down to 12 – 15 that resonate most for you. 4. Too much in your head. You can’t think your way into work you love – it requires moving into action – asking questions, seeking advice, networking, experimentation. 5. Waiting forrepparttar 142898 perfect time. There isn’t one, so takerepparttar 142899 first step now. Career change usually takes from one to three years. The sooner you start,repparttar 142900 sooner you’ll enjoy work that honors all of you – body, mind and spirit.   6. Living in hope. That things will change…magic will happen…someone will come along and fix it. NOT!. You control your destiny…one day at a time.

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