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What is Coaching in the Workplace?

What is Coaching in the Workplace?

Coaching is a term thrown around often in the workplace but can have various meanings and interpretations. In this article we'll focus on what coaching looks like, the characteristics good coaches hold, and why coaching is important.

What is Coaching?

Often when we think of a coach, the picture that comes to mind is that of a sports coach crafting young athletes into winning teams. Coaching sports versus coaching in the workplace has many similarities but there are key differences too. Sports coaches are often demanding and forceful in their approach to get the most out of their players. They are also typically experts on the skills they are demanding as they were previously athletes themselves. 

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IGROW Model for Performance Improvement and the Coaching Conversation

The IGROW Model has been successfully used in many different industries and coaching environments by managers and leaders at all levels. The method is very straight forward, but does take practice to master. Before we begin, the IGROW Model is intended for use during the performance coaching conversation where a skill based issue is identified and you are looking to achieve a behavior change or performance improvement. If you find that the issue is more of a will based issue your approach should be more of a counseling one. You can read more about the differences in Coaching and Counseling in an additional article.

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Coaching One on One to Improve Individual Performance

How much time do you spend with your employees? Now think about how much dedicated time each employee receives in coaching one on one sessions, focused on their individual performance and development. In many cases, the individual attention is not on the high end of the scale. This is why many organizations and companies have adopted a cultural practice of conducting recurring one on one meetings. These meeting go by many names such as one on one's, 10/10's, etc. and the companies employing this technique are seeing wondrous results.

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Coaching Quality: Feedback, Training, Measuring Success, and Coaching Feedback Sessions

Coaching quality can be one of the most difficult coaching feedback sessions managers have with their employees. Have you ever run into a problem getting your employees to listen to and accept feedback on the quality of their work?  When coaching quality does it typically become an argument about the rules?  Whether you are managing a call center, a production facility, a sales team, a Starbucks, or a Gap, creating a quality product or customer experience is key to any businesses success and developing your employees focus on quality is a must to deliver on these expectations.

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Coaching or Counseling? Choosing the Right Performance Coaching Method for Performance Improvement

When performance coaching, managers, leaders, and coaches today are faced with many different types of people to manage with varying opportunities for development. In order to see consistent performance improvement or employee development, a manger must be able to determine if the situation calls for coaching or counseling to improve upon the behaviors. The situation you are faced with depends on two factors: the employee's motivation and the type of behavior. For more on determining the employee's motivation see the article on the Hi / Lo Matrix.

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High Low Matrix Coaching Model: Coaching Techniques for Will and Skill Issues

The High Low Matrix can help managers overcome one of the more challenging aspects of their role which is understanding what motivates their employees. It's easy to assume that because you are motivated by knowing you did a good job or by making an impact on your environment, that others feel this enthusiasm as well. In the real world, people have many different motivations.

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Investing Wisely in Performance Coaching: Where to Spend Your Coaching Time

Investing wisely in performance coaching can help us as managers, focus our coaching time. Let's face it, we have our focused pulled in many different directions each and every day. To ensure we use our coaching time wisely, we must ask the question who do we coach and how much time do we spend with each? While, most will answer, we should spend time performance coaching all of our employees equally, as it seems only fair, taking a more strategic approach to performance coaching and managing it as we would an investment, will reap much higher rewards.

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Motivational Chain of Events: Understanding Employee Motivation and Their Will to Perform

As we previously discussed in the Hi \ Lo Matrix, employee motivation is present to differing degrees in our teams and is dictated by varying things. While you may understand where your employee falls on the Hi / Lo Matrix, do you know why their level of commitment is low and thereby their will to perform? Understanding what drives their behaviors can help guide your coaching interactions to ensure you are focusing on the right things with each and every person on your team. This is where understanding the Motivational Chain of Events can assist you in determining what drives employee motivation and their will to perform.

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Time Management: The Managers Role in Employee Development

There are a number of articles on time management and a managers role in employee development and most focus on the tasks a manager should complete.  I want to take a different view and look broadly at where a manager spends their time in employee development.  As we discussed in Investing Wisely in Coaching, Managers have a finite amount of time and need to be strategic about how they spend this very precious commodity.  We will discuss the managers role in employee development, the phases of employee development, how you can determine where to spend your time and on what activities, and then cover tools that are useful in employee development in the various phases of development.

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Managing Staff Performance by Coaching: The Coach Model for People Managers

Managing staff performance by coaching has gained in popularity in recent years, but how many people managers really understand what a coach looks like? Generally a Coach is defined as a person who gives instruction and imparts knowledge.  Sounds a little like a trainer doesn't it?  Well, there are many similar qualities.  Adult Learning Theory teaches us people learn in three distinct ways; Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic.  Have you ever participated in training that took the time to use all three ways to learn? 

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Performance Based Management - Focus Your Performance Monitoring

One of the more important aspects of a coaching session is to identify the behaviors that positively or negatively impact the employee’s key performance indicators or metrics.  As an example, for a basketball player, the behavior that directly impacts the Free Throws KPI would be releasing the ball too quickly, slowly, or the way the player snaps their wrist.  So what are the behaviors that directly align to your metrics? Have you identified your key performance indicators?  Have you written them down? Communicated them?

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The Coaching Model as a Key Management Tool

We've all heard of or seen a number of acronyms thrown around as coaching models over the years.  Whether in management training or during your own coaching sessions with your leader, Coaching Models have become very common in recent years.  Let’s examine the benefits of using a Coaching Model as well as some of the more common and effective models out there.

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