Coaching is a personal (usually one-to-one) on-the-job approach that helps people develops their skills and levels of competence. The need for coaching may arise from formal or informal performance reviews but opportunities for coaching will emerge during normal day-to-day activities.
Every time a manager delegates a new task to someone, a coaching opportunity is created to help the individual learn any new skills or techniques needed to get the job done. Every time a manager provides feedback to an individual after a task has been completed there is an opportunity to help that individual perform better next time.
Coaching as part of the normal process of management consists of −
Making people aware of how well they are performing by, for example, asking them questions to establish the extent to which they have thought through what they are doing.
Controlled delegation – ensuring that individuals not only know what is expected of them but also understand what they need to know and be able to do to complete the task satisfactorily. This gives managers an opportunity to provide guidance at the outset – guidance at a later stage may be seen as interference.
Using whatever situations may arise as opportunities to promote learning.
Encouraging people to look at higher-level problems and how they would tackle them.
Coaching will be most effective when the coach understands that his or her role is to help people to learn and individuals are motivated to learn. They should be aware that their present level of knowledge or skill or their behavior needs to be improved if they are going to perform their work to their own and to others’ satisfaction.
Individuals should be given guidance on what they should be learning and feedback on how they are doing and, because learning is an active not a passive process, they should be actively involved with their coach who should be constructive, building on strengths and experience.