Learning how to coach is, in many ways, like learning how to drive. At first, we feel like we need to combine lots of different skills in a seamless way. We look at experienced practitioners, and can’t imagine ourselves being as good as they are. We also get nervous about performing in front of a more experienced instructor! Once qualified however, we are able to put our skills into practice a lot more and it quickly becomes second nature.
However, consider this difference. When we start driving, we are provided with daily opportunities to, shall we say, ‘critique’ the driving of others by observing them on the roads, yet as accredited coaches, we rarely (if ever) get the chance to learn from observing and critiquing coaching in action. Whilst there may be few tangible benefits to being able to observe and critique other drivers (apart from being able to privately vent some anger in the comfort of our own cars), it would be great if accredited coaches could find more ways to learn from others via observation, despite the obvious challenges.
We addressed this in a recent coaching CPD session delivered in Kirklees Council. We gathered a series of online videos of coaching in action, demonstrating parts of a coaching conversation such as goal setting, generating options and wrapping up a coaching conversation in a way that ensures the coachee is committed to action. Participants were able to discuss the coaching in groups, discussing particular techniques that they saw demonstrated and comparing their own technique to the techniques on show. For many participants, it was an invaluable opportunity to be able to check their own good practice against other people’s real-life coaching, perhaps for the first time since they became accredited!
Participants of the session said, “This session has made me feel more confident in my abilities”, “I found the video clips really useful” and “Very useful takeaways – I learnt ways to encourage more resourcefulness in my coachees and to help them focus on their strengths”. The last quote displays a strong theme in the feedback from the majority of the participants. If these coaches can bring a greater strengths-focus to their coaching practice, then Kirklees Council will see the benefits of more powerful and effective coaching. This will lead to greater levels of motivation for the individuals being coached, and subsequently better outcomes for the wider Council, and by association the residents the Council serves.
Azure provide a variety of coaching-based interventions, both internally within organisations or open to the public. Contact us here to find out more.