Training Leaders to Coach

July 06, 2012  |   Executive Coaching Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Coaching is a powerful tool in any leader’s repertoire.


 Why Coaching Enhances Organisational Performance

It often enables leaders to gain so much more from their team. It also enables team members to develop their thinking and skills on a permanent basis. If a leader is a good coach it also means that the ability to ask questions and actively listen is significantly enhanced. In this way other leadership styles in the repertoire are improved.


Many leaders assume that coaching is just a more consensual way of getting what they want done. Certainly a number of leaders that attend our courses initially say that coaching is about asking more questions than normal to get you where you want to go. They are surprised when they find out this is not coaching.


 Coaching Skills

Coaching is a skill, which just like any other skill, you have to learn. The aim of coaching is to enable the person you are coaching to find their own solution to the problem. Yes that does mean if you know the answer that you want you should manage – don’t use coaching! When someone has been properly coached they are more motivated and committed because they are implementing their own solution to the problem.


Our coaching company trains hundreds of leaders to coach each year. We find that the easiest coaching framework for leaders to understand and use is GROW – Goals, Reality, Options, Will. It takes the majority of leaders very little time to understand these steps. What leaders do find more difficult is using the framework in a real life coaching situation. Coaching is easy to theorise about in a class room discussion, but much more difficult to do in practice.


 Coaching Skills Come Through Practice

So the key to our coaching skills programme for leaders is to minimise theoretical input and maximise practice. To achieve this delegates receive at most 2 hours theoretical input on coaching and the GROW model. After that it is all about observed coaching practice. Each delegate is asked to bring 3 current issues on which they are prepared to be coached on by another course member. This brings coaching to life because the person being coached really is looking for a solution.


We find after 3 observed practices most leaders have the minimum skill to coach in the workplace. More importantly they are aware of the areas in which they need to improve and practice. After the course they are encouraged to immediately go and try out their new skills at work. We assist in their development as a coach either by running some follow up workshops to discuss how the coaching is going. Or by asking those that attend the skills programme to write up their first 2 coaching sessions and reflect on what they found difficult or easy. We then provide further assistance if required based on these notes.


Leaders who have been on our coaching skills programmes quote numerous benefits. The main ones are:


  • · having an the skill to develop staff and enhance their future potential
  • · higher levels of commitment to achieving projects and objectives
  • · team members who achieve a sustainable improvement in skills and competencies


You can find out more about our range of coaching skills programmes on the link

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