The Growing Coaching Imperative
Everyone everywhere seems to be talking about how coaching makes the difference when it comes to achieving high performance in the workplace. E-Coach Associates (like most of our industry peers) encourages increased high quality coaching in the workplace. Many have already started by using a variety of approaches such as:
- Using Skype or other communication technology to encourage and provide more face-to-face coaching opportunities.
- Training more managers — either online or off — to develop and improve their coaching skills in order to conduct more sophisticated coaching interactions.
- Encouraging people to ask for feedback and thank others when feedback is provided.
These are just three of many powerful ways a culture of coaching is being encouraged at leading edge workplaces.
Building a Coaching Culture with Self-Coaching
A coaching culture has many parts — the most forgotten of which is the need to encourage genuine self-coaching. We define self-coaching in the workplace as the effort taken by individuals to discover and implement new and better ways to improve their own performance. This can be done in a variety of ways. For example by using high quality options like solid self-assessments, books, articles, self- study materials, and curated coaching content related to life and workplace success. We also think it includes having an attitude of openness to others and frequently seeking out and/or asking for help, feedback, and direction.
With all of the access we have to a wealth of online information today, it is somewhat counter-intuitive that more people are not actively engaged in what we would call structured and effective self-coaching. In many ways, the internet has made all of us more self-directed so more self-coaching would seem to be natural and self-evidently sensible and indispensable. We are so accustomed to the idea that if we want to know something, or want to consider something, Siri or another search feature become our best friends.
But while it is easier than ever to get information online, it can often be overwhelming without direction and curating. Random efforts at self-coaching and self-discovery especially at work can be wasteful and frustrating. And that frustration can really temper people’s enthusiasm for doing more self -coaching.
Leaders and Manager Must Play a Role
Until we each have our own personal “robotic coach” or access to an online coaching tool, leaders and managers at all levels must play a prominent role in helping workers improve their ability to perform. They can do this in two very important ways:
- By learning how to coach effectively and working every day to hone this important ability. By coaching frequently, being alert to what they’re learning about coaching as they coach, and seeking help from more experiences coaches, leaders and managers can master this very important role – that of being a coach.
- By curating the overwhelming amount of material available to all of us. Leaders and managers are in an ideal position to know what information is important to others because they understand the “situational context” in which work is being done. With these insights, they can quickly curate content and suggest great resources to others. Whether it’s a book, article, or video, sharing links to relevant content is a great way to help others discover new and betters ways of working.
Suggested Next Step.
Bill Gates is a vociferous reader who often recommends great books. Using his picks (here’s an example) is always a great bet. His suggestion to read Stephen Pinker’s books on how the world is getting better, encourages a strategy of positive learning. The research is solid which helps readers use their time wisely and improves their selections of self-coaching materials going forward. Reminding yourself to specifically lead people to look at a website or other high quality source of content is more than just being thoughtful — it helps people save time and increases both the amount and quality of self-coaching by providing direction and modeling for exploring outside the lines.
Also try this . . .
QwikCoach Practice Ideas designed to help you become a more accomplished continual learner. (Only available to licensed QwikCoach users.)