Coaching is becoming an oft-used and oft-abused word! Coaches seem to be mushrooming in every nook and corner with umpteen certification programmes springing up everywhere. No one can deny the power of coaching as a tool – the power to empower as well as the power to dis-empower. There’s genuine good that good coaches can do but there’s a lot of bad that bad coaches can do too. How does an organization then evaluate which kind of coaching intervention to go for, or whether to go for a coaching intervention at all?
I believe there are three fundamental questions that an organization needs to get an affirmation on before plunging itself on a coaching journey
- Do we have a collaborative and reflective work environment?
- Are the learners motivated to learn/change?
- Do we have the bandwidth to provide enough opportunities to the learners to engage in development experiences such as training workshops, reading journeys, result focused projects etc.?
If the answer to any of these is a negative, coaching may end up being a pre-mature effort. Further, what’s it that one should look for in a good coach? Again, three magic words I believe
- Accessibility – Can I talk to him, email him, chat with him etc on a regular basis?
- Knowledge – to build trust and confidence in the coach at first, and to talk specifics with the coach as we progress
- Concern – Is he genuinely concerned about the welfare of his learners? Is he encouraging, nurturing and caring?
Coaching as a concept sees its origins in the sporting fraternity and if we look at the most successful coach-athlete relationships, they are based on trust, adaptability and a genuine will to bring out the best in people. Sadly, however, in the current corporate world, the relationship has been marred and lost its power for many.