Azure have recently enjoyed being involved in a new project with Harrogate Council’s internal pool of coaches.
Over the years, the Council has created a really motivated group of nearly 30 coaches from all levels and across many different Services. Since Nigel Burchell, Business Partner and Coaching Coordinator, joined from City of York Council just over two years ago, he’s been determined to provide some additional ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to ensure that the coaches keep their skills and abilities honed. Nigel was just about to launch a new programme when the pandemic hit.
It would have been all too easy to put this work ‘on the back burner’ but Nigel and his Manager Georgina Garlick, Organisational and People Development Manager, wanted the coaches to be able to continue to support Council employees to the best of their abilities at this very challenging time.
Nigel approached us at Azure to help make this happen. The Azure CPD programme began by giving coaches the confidence to continue to coach in the virtual environment, as many hadn’t had the opportunity to work in this way previously. An interactive session in January helped coaches to ‘Get back in the coaching zone’ with some tips and demonstrations of what might work most effectively when coaching remotely.
The February session gave everyone the chance to practice their coaching in small groups with lots of helpful feedback provided to them, by each of the Azure team.
In March, coaches learned more about Wellbeing Coaching as this is such an important topic for coaches to be able to support anyone during these challenging times. Coaches loved the chance to be exposed to a wide variety of tools and then getting the chance to try them out on one another.
This project demonstrates once again that it’s absolutely possible to carry on some great development work with both coaches and coachees even when working virtually.