Last week I ran my training course Coaching at Work for a group of managers interested in using coaching skills to improve motivation and performance in their businesses.
Here are their personal learning objectives along with my closing tips related to them.
By the way, I’ve changed the names to protect privacy.
Sarah: “Coaching for customers and staff”
You now have an approach you can use with customers, staff and just about anyone else you can think of. I guess the ‘ballet dancer’s mirror’ is the perfect metaphor for the way you’re trying to position your advisory support and I hope you left with a number of ideas to develop.
Nadine: Develop myself….to develop my staff”
As you recognised from the start, we can’t change other people we can only change ourselves, but those people that take up the coaching approach become very positive role models and it does wear off on others.
Cheryl: “Coaching myself and my flexible team”
Where people work in loosely structured teams without formal reporting lines, coaching is really the only approach likely to get you anywhere. The three stage team development model would definitely be something you could use too.
Kimberley: “Coaching for relationship building”
Coaching is great for relationship building because it positions people as central to everything we do. We can get tasks completed and relationships developed all at the same time.
Nichola: “Coaching for communication and letting go”
Letting go is the hardest part of becoming a great coach. The biggest challenge is giving up the need for control and the belief that, as managers, we must have all the answers. You’ll get there!
(Actually, there were men on the course too, but my daughter’s a big Girls Aloud fan and I had to get my name changes from somewhere!)
As the picture here suggests we ask participants to undertake physical exercises designed to illustrate coaching principles. There is no real exertion involved and we’re certainly not talking about ‘outward bound’ style activities.
We don’t insist on anybody doing anything that makes them uncomfortable and we don’t ask folk to ‘confront their fears’ by walking over hot coals or smashing a house brick with a Karate style chop.
There are two main reasons we use physical activity:
We want to convince our participants that coaching works. To do this we have to prove it. It is not possible to model real business results in a few minutes but it is possible to see how coaching can radically improve a golf swing or a person’s ability to catch a ball.
To be truly memorable, learning needs to be impactful and fun. There is only so much you can do with a flipchart and Powerpoint.