The use of coaching to enhance performance in organisations has grown significantly in the past 20 years. An article published in the Journal of Positive Psychology reports on a study to determine whether coaching works. It considers the impact of coaching on the performance of individuals in organisations, what benefits coaching provides and the factors that affect the success of coaching.
Coaching is defined as a results-oriented, systematic process in which the coach facilitates the achievement of goals. A well-known approach is the GROW model:
|set a realistic goal
|assess the current situation
|consider options and select a course of action to achieve the goal
|the coachee is supported to make decisions and have the willpower to commit to them
The overall conclusion of this study was that “coaching has significant positive effects on performance and skills, well-being, coping, work attitudes, and goal-directed self-regulation.” Coachees are more resilient, more positive about their work and more capable of working autonomously to achieve goals.
What conditions are required for coaching to be successful? The characteristics of effective coaches include understanding, encouraging and listening behaviours, suggesting that emotional intelligence is a key requirement for a successful coach. The “coachability” of the employee also impacts on the success of the process. Coachees need to be agreeable and open to the experience and motivated to achieve goals, in order to benefit from coaching.
How does coaching differ from traditional management approaches? John Whitmore addresses this question in his book Coaching for Performance – the following is a summary of traditional management behaviours and their impact on team members:
|manager feels in control but upsets and demotivates staff
|manager tries to sell a good idea - staff feel they don't have a choice
|manager is open to ideas but discussion can be time-consuming and result in indecision
|manager leaves staff to get on with it - staff feel forced to take on responsibility and may make mistakes
By contrast, the coach manager supports team members to set their own goals and take responsibility for achieving them. Applying the GROW model, for example, the manager would use questioning and listening techniques to encourage the coachee to solve problems and commit to goals, in line with the objectives of their role. The coachee feels empowered and motivated because they have made their own decisions, with full support from their manager.
Posted: Monday 1 November 2021