One key role of any leader is to coach team members to achieve their best. As “coach”, you will typically help your team members to solve problems, make better decisions, learn new skills or otherwise progress in their role or career.
Whilst some leaders are fortunate enough to get formal training as coaches, many are not. They have to develop coaching skills for themselves.
A simple sequence to follow when conducting a coaching session, whether formal or informal, is identified by the mnemonic G.R.O.W which represents:
- GOAL setting for the session as well as for the short and longer term performance issues
- REALITY checking to explore the current situation
- OPTIONS and alternative strategies or courses of action
- WHAT is to be done, when, by whom and the WILL to do it
The aim at each step in the sequence is to raise awareness through developing the clear perception of the relevant facts and information and determine what is relevant.
Responsibility is the other key concept in coaching. Responsibility is crucial for high performance. When we truly accept, choose or take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, our commitment to them rises and so does our performance. When we are ordered to be responsible, told to be, expected to be or even given responsibility, if we do not fully accept it performance does not rise. Doing the job to avoid a threat does not optimise performance.
Anybody interested in improving organisational performance should be coaching as a matter of habit. Everybody interested in improving their personal performance should be receptive to coaching. These two points look self evidently true, so why is so little coaching going on?
Because the most important contextual factor for coaching to flourish is a real understanding of the relationship dynamic between coach and coachee. There are some powerful enablers and inhibitors to an effective coaching relationship, when these are understood Total Coaching can really take root as an underpinning foundation to achieving higher performance.