GM Thought of the Week – The Power of Coaching IPA Training Forum Summary
Coaching of talent is critical to the success of any business, which is why we were excited to attend the IPA’s recent session on Vital Coaching Skills. This session offered a real focus on the tools needed to understand and recognise the mindsets required to help staff reach their full potential and go beyond fixed expectations. To quote Maya Angelo “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
For example, one of the recommendations questioned the effectiveness of quarterly of half year appraisals compared to rolling coaching throughout the year. This method focuses more on the process of understanding strengths and positives to aid individual growth rather than go over areas that didn’t go well.
Key topics discussed on the day included the need for managers to be able to recognise the different mind sets that influence behaviours and use language that encourages and supports people to help them open up. For example, ensuring managers adhere to the 3:1 ration, whereby for every concern/problem you should identify three positives and not focus on the negatives. Even going as far as examining the language you use is incredibly important – “but” for example can undo a lot of good work if it follows a positive sentiment!
As an industry we need to be happier in our talking and in order to demonstrate coaching ability we must not solve problems for individuals. The skill of coaching lies in being able to get others to resolve issues or problems and overcome obstacles themselves to achieve a specific goal. Whilst directing lies in instructing and mentoring results in advising, coaching is essentially enabling.
This is all well and good but what does it take to be a good coach? Start with asking questions, build rapport and trust, have confidence and be supportive, affirm to show you’re listening but appreciate and take silence. Stephen Covey said “seek first to understand than to be understood”. There is a need for us to give attention to the speaker, reflect the content and feelings they are demonstrating, clarify, summarise and observe. Feedback needs to be made normal and in the moment rather than a quarterly or annual review. So why not focus on your constructive coaching throughout this week.
Michaella Williams, Associate Director