Why have a coach?
A coach is a person who will enable you to explore your own situation or work issue in a non-judgemental and non-directive way. Giving you a safe place to explore why certain things are happening and how you might be able to resolve them, to explore new and different ways of approaching work or projects. This may be around a performance, confidence or behavioural aspect of your work. Coaching will give you more control, ownership and self-awareness over your situation, tapping into inner abilities, own experiences, thoughts and behaviours to help you move to a different place. In doing so this will increase your confidence, inform how you think about a situation and make informed decisions to resolve it.
Why coaching in an organisation?
Coaching is proven to change mindsets, behaviours and cultures in teams and organisations. Coaching’s purpose is to look at and improve performance. It creates employees who are always looking for ideas, solutions, ways forward, rather than looking for problems or focusing issues or their own agendas. It promotes autonomy, control, self-assuredness and self-belief to bring about change and growth. Coaching empowers people, creates engagement and contributes to individual, team and ultimately organisational success.
Why as a manager should I become a coach?
A manager’s role is to manage people and resources. However, most managers spend an enormous amount of their time fixing problems, fire-fighting and getting too involved in day to day work (stuff!). Despite employing ‘experts’ most managers still don’t allow these ‘experts’ to fully utilise their skills. Most managers therefore work at levels below where their organisation expects them to be. If manager’s have a more coaching mindset, they are able to draw out the required skills and get them applied to delivering performance. Motivation is increased in employees because they are fully engaged in work. Coaching will support and develop employees, maximising their inner potential, whilst at the same time provide line managers with more capacity to do more forward thinking and planning. It’s a win:win for all concerned!
How will my coaching help me and my team?
A manager who uses coaching and coaching skills demonstrates a desire to both get the best from their team and also establish a transformational approach to leading their team. Coaching will help team members not only perform better as a team, but also develop effective communication, relationship, engagement and support behaviours. The coaching manager can develop a more aware, committed and solution focused team dynamic, working with the team to generate a higher level of team autonomy and interdependence. The team that is coached also develops a very strong and open culture of its own, all of which contributes to overall team performance and delivery. When this is in place the team manager will be able to exhibit more leadership of the team and also again more capacity for themselves and their / team development.
Don’t I need someone who knows my work and what I do?
Not really. The way coaching works is to believe that you are the person with the knowledge, behaviours and experiences to help you achieve the change you are seeking. They are skilled in listening, questioning, exploring situations and behaviours, challenging thinking in order to remove blocks to your performance or find ways for you to move forward. Often you have many of the answers or ideas you need already, but don’t know how you tap into them, or have the confidence apply them. Sometimes working with someone who has the technical knowledge hinders the learning and change process, because they will want to give you the answers, rather than helping you to find them for yourself, which is true learning.
Isn’t it a sign of weakness to have a coach?
Far from it. Recognising that you need clarity, direction and guidance in work or personal life is a strength. You understand that you might not be the best person to help yourself, so you need a different perspective on things. If you are being offered coaching by your organisation, they are recognising that you are a valuable asset and that they want to invest time and money in you, to help you to perform even better. Keeping things to yourself and hoping that situations will change by themselves is not a strength.
Can my manager be my coach?
Yes and no. Abintus believe that your manager can and should have a range of coaching skills to use when appropriate to develop and support and develop your performance. However, a pure coaching relationship will entail the person sharing a lot about their work circumstance, fears, questions, emotions and concerns and will need to totally trust their coach. Employees may be reluctant to be that open and honest with their manager. So managers can be really strong in their daily coaching skills and behaviours, but shouldn’t expect that their employees will be completely transparent.
How much time will the coaching take?
Coaching is deliberately only a short-term intervention. Typically, there will be 3-6 coaching sessions over a 3-6 month time period with your Abintus coach. Each session can last for between 1-2 hours, these can be face-to-face sessions, by telephone or Skype. In between the sessions you will be applying some of what was discussed with you coach, seeing what happens and gaining feedback. This will be reviewed at your next session. Your coach will also be available between sessions for support if you need it.
What is shared with my manager?
Often a line manager will contact us and ask for support for an employee. They will share the situation and engage with us. We will meet with the person share about the coaching process and gain an overview of the situation from them. If they agree to being coached we will contract with them. This entails expectations from both parties for the duration of the coaching, and will cover confidentiality. All coaching discussions will be only between the coach and the client. The coach will encourage the client to share their progress and learning with their line manager, as the manager will also want to support them. The coach may well give an overview of the coaching process, but not share any of their session conversations. Trust is key.
How would you work with us to implement a coaching programme?
In the first instance we will want analyse your situation, aims, purpose, needs, outcomes, desired behaviours in order to understand if a coaching approach will meet your requirements. Put simply, ‘what is the problem you are trying to solve?’ We would aim to speak to a variety of people to get full insight. We would share a variety of approaches that might be suitable for your unique situations and also share our own experiences of working with organisations and what has been successful. In this we recognise that a really successful coaching programme has to be a ‘whole business’ initiative, not just a localised intervention. We won’t tell you what to do, but simply help you to fully understand what might work best and to give you the best business outcomes. We would propose a programme and content based on our discussions and also indicate what else could be done to further complement your programme and embed coaching in the organisation or part of it. We will deliver the programme in a highly experiential and engaging way, with a focus on coaching behaviours and practice for up to 12 people. They will be supported and supervised in their coaching practice and then meet at the end to review progress, learning and changes. We can also if required, build in supervision development, supply coaching resources and work to identify other activities to help build your coaching community as well as help you identify the return on expectations for your senior management team.
How does coaching affect the culture of teams and organisations?
As an approach, coaching develops awareness, autonomy, confidence, creativity, control, behavioural change and self-sufficiency in individuals and teams. It reduces ‘command and control’ and directive leadership and therefore empowers and engages employees who become more motivated in their work, colleagues and organisation. People become more naturally problem solving and continual improvement becomes common place. Employees taking more control of their development becomes a common place activity. As employees are feeling more invested in employee turnover reduces, internal promotions increase as employees become more aware of their potential and organisations learn how to ‘tap’ into this potential. Coaching creates self-awareness in those who engage in it. The more self-aware people are then they can make increasingly healthy and informed decisions about themselves, their work and towards their team and organisation. Self-awareness contributes to higher levels of emotional intelligence and relationships management in organisations. Put simply, coaching focuses on helping people become ‘better’ for themselves their teams and organisations.