“Coaching” is the management style of a transformed culture. It is a popular buzzword in business circles, so much so that many organizations swear that they have employed the practice of “coaching” for years. However well-meaning these organizations may be, many of them don’t realize that “coaching” is a skill, or even an art form, and not a quick fix, which requires real understanding and practice in order to derive its intended benefits. Coaching should be done daily in an informal setting, so that staff are without realization that they are being coached. It also should be done on a scheduled basis in the formal, sit down fashion. The concept is much bigger than the traditional performance management system in that it is a mind set, or an overarching management style, that governs the organization’s manner of dealing with its employees.
Coaching delivers results due to the supportive relationship between the coach and the employee and the means and style of communication used. For coaching to work at its best, the relationship between the coach and employee must be one of partnership, trust, safety and minimal pressure. The employee begins to shoulder much greater responsibility, allowing the manager to focus on his/her core competencies and giving needed time to coach. No longer is the manager a problem solver, teacher, adviser, instructor or even expert. Instead, the manager becomes a sounding board, facilitator, and counselor.
Real performance is an expression of one’s potential, and the management style of one-to-one coaching has been proven to unlock the employee’s potential to maximize his/her own performance. The process of coaching forces employees to become more aware and take responsibility for their actions and surpass what others demand or expect. By developing and maintaining a supportive coaching relationship and using a level of communication that allows depth and breadth in discussions with employees, organizations can stimulate growth and real performance.