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Using Coaching to Improve Performance

This is a guest article from APLS Group.

When should a manager or leader MANAGE and when should they COACH? What’s the difference? 

Managers are the experts– they present, sell, influence, problem solve and strategize. Coaches bring out the best in people through personalized teachings, expanding awareness to address the skills and qualities to ensure success and transform personal leadership skills that will link and align to organizational goals. Coaches listen with a third ear– to the words and the meanings behind the words.

What are the benefits of coaching?  

Sustainable behavioral change, improved performance and more engaged employees. Challenges?  Finding time to participate in coaching, follow up and encourage follow-through to sustain change. If an employee is not 100% engaged and committed to a coaching program, the coaching will not be successful.

Is there an optimal level of coaching frequency? 

This depends on the situation, typically once a week or twice a month at the beginning. A minimum of once a month meetings ensure long term, sustainable change. Most of our client engage in a 3-month contract and then renew for another three months.  The average time is 10 hours per month.

How can an organization better support coaching (rather than the managing) of teams? What kinds of tools and skills do organizations need to offer?

Organizations can support the coaching of teams (rather than just managing), by making coaching part of the organizational culture. In the 1990s coaching was strictly for Executive and D Suite Leaders. Today in the 21st century, coaching is established for everyone, and organizations that support it have the competitive advantage. To encourage a lasting culture of coaching, organizations can provide training in active listening skills, coaching skills, and time for employees and managers to be engaged in the coaching process.

How do (or does?) hybrid workplace arrangements contribute to the need for/ challenges of coaching? 

The hybrid workplace environment can facilitate one-on-one coaching via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other virtual communication programs.  The biggest challenge for coaches in hybrid situations is the ability to identify the initial need for coaching, and what specific behavioral issues or skills may need to be addressed through coaching.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2022

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