What Is Coaching?
Coaching is about empowering you to perform at your best in the workplace. Often people get promoted on their technical skills or find that what got them promoted will not help them at a higher level.
In start-ups or smaller organisations it may be difficult to see beyond survival and there is unlikely to be an established training or development programme in place. Alternatively your colleagues might have strong views about your professional performance or personal style (and vice versa) which they/you have no time to discuss face to face. You might be required to give feedback (sometimes critical) on the performance of others. This can be a daunting and difficult task and the higher up the ladder you climb often the less help you get.
In bigger organisations you may have responsibility for managing larger numbers of people or teams, or have to work collaboratively or ‘cross silo’ perhaps where you do not make the decisions. These are all challenges that organisations expect you to do without any training having been given.
My approach when we are discussing coaching issues is to start off identifying what you do well and what skills, processes or systems might be missing. This might be done through some structured testing or assessment tools. It might involve interviewing your colleagues to aggregate feedback. This will result in development suggestions we can work on at future meetings. You may want to better understand & improve how you and others interact and there are ways to assess this too. Other issues covered might include the benefits of setting clear and measurable objectives and managing performance better in your organisation; how to give feedback; the culture in your organisation in terms of ‘the way we do things around here’; how to plan better, and find time to ‘think’ rather than firefighting all the time; the use of action lists and prioritizing etc. The overall aim is to identify and expand your skills, confidence and personal motivation. The key thing with coaching is it should improve not only your own performance but also contribute towards greater success for your business as well.
What Makes Me Different?
My point of difference is that I’ve been in many of the same situations that you are facing. I’ve had to give feedback; I’ve implemented Performance Management systems and know what works and what doesn’t; I’ve introduced 360 degree feedback & used tools such as Myers Briggs. I don’t come from the HR side of the business albeit I have tremendous respect for businesses that believe in strategic HR.
When I don’t know I’ll clearly say so rather than trying to bullshit. However with my network I probably know a person who does know! For structured testing and assessment I will use people I trust who are at the top of their game. I won’t pretend to be an expert when I’m not.