The main purpose of investing in a coaching program and holding coaching sessions is to help individuals empower their careers and increase their level of work performance. However the success of an organizational coaching program is dependent on several factors. The effectiveness of the coaching process is an important factor. If coaches are not bound by coaching guidelines and a structured process, they may fail to meet the goals of coaching. The skills and competencies of a coach also influence the success of the coaching program. If the program is well-structured with a set of guidelines and clear processes but the coach seems to lack the ability to implement and utilize these components, the coaching program may turn out to be ineffective.
This pitfall can be addressed by providing coaching tools and techniques to the coaches that they can use to carry out an effective coaching. Besides the coaching style, strategies in coaching can also prove to be helpful.
Coaching Tools and Techniques Defined
The terms “coaching tools” and “coaching techniques” tend to be interchangeably used in context. Yet, these two terms have separate definitions. Coaching tools refer to the materials and instruments used during the coaching sessions. Examples of the common tools used in coaching are needs assessment, evaluation materials, interview tools, performance feedback tools, coaching drills and simulations, and other similar resources necessary for coaching.
On the other hand, coaching techniques pertain to the methods or approaches in applying and using the coaching tools. It is the art of implementing or using a tool. In order to ascertain a productive coaching outcome, the effectiveness of use of these coaching tools and techniques has to be evaluated. Coaches should be particular and selective in choosing only the best and most reliable coaching tools and techniques.
Coaching Tool: The GROW Model
A popularly used coaching tool that has been around for years now is the GROW model introduced by John Whitmore. This instrument is widely used and applied by many organizations and companies worldwide. The acronym GROW stands for the following:
G – Goal
Setting the goals and aims of the trainee
R – Reality
Assessing the current “reality” or the situation of the trainee before choosing a coaching style and deciding what techniques to use
O – Options
Outlining the suitable “options” or actions plans based on the needs of the trainee
W – Will
The agreed actions and solutions that will be taken by the trainee for the attainment of goals
One important tip to consider when using the GROW model is to match it with the appropriate coaching techniques in order to promote an increased awareness and responsibility of the issues. An effective questioning technique may possibly work best along with the use of the model.
However, this coaching tool must only be employed when deemed appropriate to the session. Moreover, the model should not restrict the coaching sessions to arrive at premature conclusions. The coach must see to it that all possible options are explored and discussed.
Lastly, an effective coach must not be limited to the use of this coaching tool in every session. He can use other tools and techniques for that matter. In order to make the process even more efficient, the coach must explore other approaches in coaching..
Coaching Strategies and Tactics
In any type of coaching, the use of strategies and techniques makes the coaching sessions easier to conduct. Here are three fundamental strategies and tactics that coaches can apply:
a. Build an atmosphere of involvement and ownership
• Make use of applicable knowledge, necessary tools and resources
• Share the coaching goals and objectives and make the trainee understand the current situation
• Establish clear standards and gauge for progress and coaching results
• Recognize progress in performance and positive changes after coaching
b. Provide challenging role, tasks and responsibilities
• Evaluate the skills and abilities of the trainee
• Create tasks that commensurate with their abilities
• Set expectations and provide clear directions
• Trust the trainee’s ability to complete the task
• Acknowledge efforts and results
c. Provide ongoing coaching
• Constructive feedback should be given every time after coaching
• Document coaching sessions and performance trends of trainees
• Utilize applicable tools and resources
• Demonstrate effective listening and give of feedback