Coaching is a very useful way of developing people's skills and abilities, and of boosting performance. It also helps in deal with the issues and challenges before they become major problems.
There are many different models of coaching, here we are not considering the ‘coach as expert’ but, instead, the coach as a facilitator of learning.
There is a big difference between teaching someone and helping them to learn. In coaching, the coach is helping the individual to improve their own performance or we can say, helping them to learn.
Good coaches believe that the individual always has the answer to their own problems but understands that they may need help to find the answer.
What is the difference between Coaching and Mentoring?
Coaching involves the belief that the individual has the answers to their own problems within them.
The coach is not a subject expert, but rather is focused on helping the individual to unleash their own potential. The focus is very much on the individual and what is inside their head. A coach is not needs to be necessarily a designated individual: anyone can take a coaching approach with others, whether peers, subordinates or superiors.
The key skill of coaching is asking the right questions to help the individual work through their own issues.
Mentoring is similar to coaching. There is general agreement that a mentor is a guide who helps someone to learn or develop faster than they might do alone.
In the workplace mentors are often formally designated as such by mutual agreement, and outside of an individual’s line management chain. They usually have considerable experience and expertise in the individual’s line of business.
Why coaching is important?
There are many so benefits to being a part of the coaching process. There are so many personal benefits of coaching and can positively impact an individual’s career if they are engaging with their coach. This process can help develop individuals across a extensive range of needs and can even benefit them on a personal level. Coaching has been known to increase confidence, improve work performance, and build effective communication skills.
The benefits can be even more vast and specific to an individual. Here are 6 benefits that coaching can bring to individuals in your organization.
1. Establish and act toward achieving goals
Coaching gives the individual an opportunity to define their career goals in a realistic way. With the assistance of a coach, they can set these goals and then actively work towards them. This will increase the likelihood that the goals will be achieved. It is common for goals to be centered around two aspects of an individual’s career. The first is building skill sets, and the second is the individual’s professional behavior.
2. Increased level of engagement
Coaching engages participants with its unique one-on-one feedback and lots of encouragement. When an individual becomes engaged with their workplace, they can contribute more effectively to the team and the organization. This engagement also helps to increase retention rates and productivity, benefiting their careers as well as their overall organization.
3. Safe Place to Gain Perspective
Having a coach gives the individual a safe space to go and talk through sensitive issues. The coach is a third-party participant, and their ability to remain uninvolved but give guidance allows the coachee to gain perspective without feeling intimidated by someone within their own organization. Using the safe place for encouragement and development is important. It allows for a more in-depth learning and higher levels of comfort with the skill. Once the individual is comfortable with their skills, they can begin to use them in their careers and see the advantages they are gaining from their coaching relationship.
4. Deeper Level of Learning
Corporate coaching isn’t just about improving an individual’s skills in the workplace; it takes learning to an even deeper level. Through coaching, an individual can learn more about themselves, find out how they are perceived by others, and improve on areas of their personalities that they are not satisfied with.
Further, coaching takes learning to a level beyond remembering and understanding. The individual can take the skills presented by their coach and apply them in new situations within their safe learning space. Application in various situations will solidify the skillset in the individual.
5. Build Personal Awareness
A coach can give their coachee ideas for to improve themselves, but more importantly they can help them become aware of their blind spots. These blind sports are areas of the individual’s work or personality that they may not see, but that need improvement. Once the individual is aware of these areas, they can work with the coach to begin improving them.
A great way to build personal awareness is through personality assessments. These assessments are easily administered, and the results recorded, using coaching software.
Through building personal awareness, the individual can turn their unknown weaknesses into marketable strengths. This personal awareness is an important confidence booster for individuals in talent development programs and can help in future roles.
6. Support for Improving Specific Skills
Having support for improving skills can be extremely beneficial. Simply knowing that someone is there specifically to help goal achievement is an important part of progress within the coaching process.
As skill building is often the focus of coaching relationships, there should be specific emphasis on which skills to build so the coaching is efficient and directed. These skills can include communication, delegation, conflict management, team building, and persuasion, and they can be managed with coaching software. Guided support will make the coaching relationship successful in its objectives.