Organizations looking after the needs of their people always find ways and means to address those needs. Coaching and mentoring programs are established to continue developing people and bring out their best.
Coaching in the workplace is very important and must be perceived positively by the working individuals. In some cases, employees tend to be apprehensive towards coaching sessions because they feel that due to poor performance at work, they have not met the expectations of the company. This kind of thinking must be eradicated when it comes to coaching. Instead, the coaching program must be seen as an opportunity to grow and improve more on one’s potentials and capabilities.
One way to build a successful coaching program is to conduct effective coaching sessions. Following the coaching best practices that have been demonstrated by the organization also makes the coaching process effective.
Elements of an Effective Coaching Session
The quality of the coaching session depends heavily on how well the coach is prepared for the session and how the delivery is made. The following elements constitute a good and effective coaching session:
1. Identifying the purpose of coaching
Coaches have to make sure that the trainee understands the reason of the coaching sessions. Their minds need to be conditioned on the idea that the reason is their personal and professional development.
2. Establishing clear ground rules and goals in coaching
Before starting the coaching sessions, the coach must discuss the rules as well as the goals to attain by the end of the sessions. These ground rules will create a smooth and harmonious coaching relationship between the coach and the learner. The goals provide determination and direction for the coach and the learner to strive to achieve progress after coaching is finished.
3. Keeping focused
The coach has to guide the individual to a step-by-step process of coaching and must maintain the focus on the core needs of the person.
4. Avoiding one-way communication
Coaching involves a discussion about different topics and generally a lot of conversation between the coach and the learner. The coach must see that there is interaction during coaching. The learner must be given chance to express himself and open up. This way the coach can gather information needed to target the person’s areas for improvement.
5. Communicating in a clear and simple manner
The coach should communicate with the learner on an easily understandable level.
6. Being open to new ideas and possible changes.
The trainee must manifest an open mind and embrace new ideas and approaches especially if the new learning concepts are beneficial for his career growth.
Applying Coaching Best Practices
Another way to conduct effective coaching is to implement the best practices in the coaching process. These best practices are proven to be effective because these were developed and modified based on years of knowledge and experience of professional coaches. These are carefully chosen and identified strategies, techniques and processes that generate satisfactory results in the coaching sessions. Best practices are first-hand experiences, which are gathered and formed since the coaching program is established in an organization. Over time, these best practices can be modified and amended according to the needs and the learning abilities of the individuals.
Factors of Quality Coaching
Coaching is best conducted and delivered with the following factors:
Most of the time, coaching is an activity between only two individuals – the coach and the trainee. But there is also team coaching and peer coaching. Compared to a group coaching, one-on-one coaching works because it focuses on the individual alone.
Clear coaching goals increase the level of motivation for the trainee to develop oneself.
• Limited in scope and time
Coaching sessions must be scheduled, but should not be conducted to the same individual repeatedly and must not take long hours as well. An evaluation of the person’s performance progress must be done first.
A good coaching session involves a healthy exchange of conversation between the coach and the trainee.
Although coaching is geared towards personal and professional development, the sessions must highlight more the professional aspect and the work performance of the person.