Coaching? I thought I should be mentoring, or was that counseling?
The term "coaching" has officially assumed a prominent position on the list of business jargon. Although the concept has exploded with popularity in business, it is often mistakenly associated with workplace mentoring or counseling, which vary significantly from coaching. Mentoring partners a more experienced person with someone who has less knowledge on a given topic, while counseling specifically addresses performance gaps.
Coaching assumes that individuals are competent and capable of implementing self-led activities to achieve professional goals. Coaching is also more than an incidental performance conversation. It is a partnership between coach and coachee that fosters professional development over a period of time. At the core of coaching lies it's most important element, goal-oriented conversations focused on positive outcomes.
The principles of coaching can also help you lead your team more effectively. Here are 3 coaching best practices to get you started:
- Listen Intently. Only speak when asking questions to clarify. Refrain from expressing on your own views so the other person doesn't feel defensive or criticized. Ask questions that help identify the issue and discuss what is actually happening. Avoid statements that imply judgment such as, "Why didn't you..." or "What you should have done ..."
- Determine Actions. Jointly decide the next course of action and specific steps to take. Focus on the achievement of the stated goal.
- Agree to a Plan and a Follow-Up Date. Summarize what was agreed upon and set a date to have a follow-up meeting. Use the next meeting to focus on the causes of the achievement or non-achievement of the goal and its corresponding effects.