Coaching is a collaborative process where a manager helps their employee overcome challenges and develop their expertise by asking the right questions and helping them to find solutions themselves rather than telling them what to do.
The GROW model
A good model to use when coaching is the GROW model. It is an excellent tool to use to structure your coaching sessions and ensure that your coaching sessions reach the desired outcome.
- Goal - Establish what outcome or goal your team member needs/wants to achieve. For example, developing a new skill or moving into an expanded role.
- Reality - Explore the current reality and the desired reality of the outcome/goal they wish to achieve.
- Options/Obstacles - Determine the options for reaching the goal or outcome, and any obstacles that might stand in the way. It is important that you allow your team member to come up with the options and only offer your suggestions after they have exhausted theirs.
- Way forward - Put together some action steps to move forward and achieve the goal, as well as clarifying expectations. Make sure you clarify how often you plan to meet to review progress and what you expect to see by the next meeting.
When to coach...
Coaching is something that can be used at any time, provided the team member is motivated and willing to develop. The main uses for coaching are:
1. Performance improvement
As a manager, you want your team members to perform as effectively and efficiently as possible. Coaching is an effective way to help your team members to build their knowledge and skills, overcome barriers and help them to maximise their performance.
- Goal - What are you trying to achieve?
- Reality - What is happening now? What is the impact?
- Options/Obstacles - What could you do to change this situation?
- Way forward - What steps are you going to take to achieve that? When?
2. Career advancement
Coaching is also an effective way to help high potential or high performing team members build the required knowledge, skills and expertise to take on additional responsibilities or move into more advanced roles.
- Goal - Where do you want to be in the future?
- Reality - How far do you think you are away from achieving this? What have you tried so far?
- Options/Obstacles - What might hold you back from achieving this goal?
- Way-forward - What steps will you take to achieve this? What do you need from me to be successful?