Get ready to define coaching like never before! Coaching is a personalised training approach that’s all about supporting individuals or groups as they level up their skills. But it’s not a solo journey – it requires a commitment from both parties in order to be ultimately successful. So, if you’re looking to start a coaching programme, remember that a few best practices are key for the coach, coachee, and company to thrive!
The coach: a supportive and motivational professional
1. Set clear objectives
If you want to make sure that your coachees are making progress, you need a way to measure their development. And that means establishing a clear starting point and end goal. It’s just like sports coaching: coaches need to evaluate their athletes at the beginning, set SMART objectives together, and create a roadmap that they can both follow throughout the coaching sessions. By using an established framework as a starting point, coaches can ensure smooth and effective evaluations and coaching sessions.
2. Establish a relationship built on trust and understanding
As a coach, trust is key! Coaches differ from consultants and advisors in that they focus on the needs and goals of the person they are coaching. Active listening and empathy are essential qualities that coaches bring to the table.
To establish trust, coaches must create a transparent framework, particularly when it comes to the confidentiality of information. Coachees should know what can be shared with others (such as a manager) and what must remain completely confidential. By maintaining a relationship built on mutual trust and understanding, coaches can guide their coachees to success with confidence.
3. Manage communication frequency
To make coaching effective, frequent communication is essential, but it’s crucial to find the right balance! With digital tools, the line between personal and professional boundaries has become hazy. Therefore, it’s important to establish a clear framework that includes the following guidelines:
- Communication times: Ensure that no notifications or discussions take place beyond specific hours, such as after 6 p.m.
- Assessment times: Prepare a thorough and well-thought-out evaluation of the coachee’s expertise.
- Times for recommending resources or training: Allow the coachee enough time to go through the recommended material, and make sure the assigned tasks are realistic.
4. Foster a positive attitude
A positive attitude is the essence of coaching. Help your coachees take stock of their successes and turn their failures into areas of focus. Listen carefully and ask for feedback from coachees, as everyone has their own preferences when it comes to encouragement. You can also foster a sense of belonging among coachees by enabling them to interact and help each other through a shared discussion forum, for example.
Coachees: committed stakeholders
1. Be Diligent
Coaching is a joint effort, where the coach and coachee work together to achieve progress. The coach is responsible for guiding and monitoring progress while the coachee must be committed to following the plan. To ensure success, it’s essential to communicate regularly, set achievable goals, and follow recommendations.
2. Speak Up
Effective communication is the key to successful coaching. Coachees should always feel comfortable expressing their concerns and asking questions. If there’s any doubt or disagreement with the coach’s recommendations, it’s crucial to discuss it openly. Constructive discussions are the cornerstone of every coaching relationship.
3. Embrace Feedback
Learning to receive feedback is an essential part of coaching. It can be challenging for some, but it’s important to establish a trusting relationship with the coach to benefit from their guidance. Coachees should be clear about how they want feedback provided and be open to suggestions and constructive criticism.
4. Take Ownership
Coaching is a personalised journey, and the coachee must remain in the driver’s seat. Simply following the coach’s recommendations is not enough; coachees should take an active role in their progress by making proposals and providing input. The coach is there to support and guide, but the coachee must take ownership of their development.
Companies offering a coaching framework
1. Establish a Code of Ethics
Maintaining confidentiality is crucial in coaching, and it’s essential to clarify this from the outset. Most certified coaches will have a contract that includes confidentiality clauses. If coaching is provided within an organisation, it’s important to establish a clear framework and specify the guidelines.
2. Provide Training Opportunities
Coaching is not a regulated profession, so it’s essential to provide coaches – both new and experienced – with resources to inspire their coaching skills. Topics like neurolinguistic programming, transaction analysis, and feedback techniques can be excellent starting points. Utilising the Coaching Add-on can also promote good practices, such as assessing expertise and selecting relevant content.
3. Offer Supervision
Coaches may encounter challenging situations, and having a supervisor can help them choose the best course of action. Supervision allows coaches to reflect on their practice and receive feedback to improve their skills. It’s an opportunity to take a step back and ensure the quality of coaching is maintained.
4. Recognise Progress and Effort
In-company coaching aims to enhance individual and collective performance. Recognising and rewarding progress and efforts is essential for promoting motivation and engagement. It’s vital to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of both coaches and coachees to foster a positive coaching culture.