If QwikCoach had one wish for everyone in the workplace it would be for them to understand and deeply appreciate that there are two things people cannot get enough of while working (or living) and those are (drum roll) . . .
Learning and coaching!
It is often said that one shouldn’t go through a day without learning something new. We agree. We also believe that no one should go through a day without coaching – themself or others.
The need for more learning and more coaching is driving opportunities for supporting both. Many of these new opportunities are enabled by the innovative use of technology and creative changes to the way people communicate and interact at work.
We applaud these innovative approaches and the positive impacts they continue to have in expanding opportunities for learning and coaching.
QwikCoach wants to go even further to suggest an expanded view of what coaching can include – one that offers even greater potential and helps fill the huge gap between what’s needed and what’s available in today’s workplace.
It’s interesting that we never hear that LESS coaching is needed at work likely because we continue to see more and more evidence that reinforces findings that investments made in workplace coaching have significant benefits and positive outcomes – for individuals and organizations.
The challenge is that traditional ways of providing coaching may never be enough to benefit everyone at work due to cost and time constraints, and its dependence on having a sufficient supply of trained coaches — internal or external.
We like this broad definition of learning from Wikipedia.
Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values and preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines.
We also like this broad definition of workplace coaching from Why Workplace Coaching and Why Now by Integral Global.
Workplace coaching is the process of equipping people with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to fully develop themselves to be effective in their commitment to themselves, the company and their work.
Supplemented by this from the International Coaching Community about what coaching does:
It [coaching] unlocks a person’s potential to maximize their performance.
We believe that coaching plays a vital role in self-development and needs to encompass self-coaching as a way to augment more traditional approaches. While traditional methods focus on the relationship between two people—a coach and a coachee — it is in our view that people can successfully coach themselves if the right types of high-quality materials, activities, and support are provided.
The development of new ways to support self-coaching materials is neither quick nor is it easy. And, some might say self-coaching is just another way to use a search engine. We feel differently and believe much can be achieved by providing easy access to on-demand coaching resources.
Here’s an example:
You just had a fight with a co-worker and want to know what to do next. So off you go to search for something about what to do after a fight with a co-worker.
Sounds like a great idea and millions do this every day. But, if not properly curated and put into a framework that makes it easy to access and use, searching can lead to frustration.
For example, google “dealing with difficult people.” We did and found 767,000,000 responses. No doubt there are great ideas and insights, but the delivery of huge amounts of non-curated materials makes self-coaching a losing battle in terms of confidence and clarity about what to do next. And in terms of managing time properly, continuously searching the internet can often be a huge waste of time, energy, and money.
We have spent many years actually developing and curating this type of information, so we know. It takes enormous effort to turn what we’ve helped others learn into great coaching advice – insights that allows individuals to begin the process of coaching themselves.
But here’s the good news — on-demand coaching is now available and can be used to expand and enhance the amount of coaching accessible to people everywhere — especially those less likely to have access to high-performance coaches.
Cost matters! We know that coaching and learning have become on average much less costly in the last 5 years. Technology makes virtual coaching possible and online learning ubiquitous, and both can now be accomplished at much reduced costs. But the online coaching market is less robust than it is for learning. And, to a large extent, without access to affordable on demand coaching we will never be able to fill the need that grows daily.
Does on demand coaching replace live coaching? NO. Not any more than an online college degree replaces a full time residential top notch college experience with small classes and online work. But the growing need for self-development and self-improvement has to allow for wider and more robust options. Such was the case for learning. So it must be for coaching.
Here’s an example:
What do you do when you have a fight with a colleague and don’t know what to do next? Search the internet? Maybe.
Or click and get immediate access to coaching advice that’s that on point and might look something like this:
Most experts agree that conflict is natural – probably inevitable – whenever groups of people come together, since no two people – no matter how compatible they are – think exactly the same way or always want the same things.
Conflict is the clash of opposing – or simply differing – beliefs, opinions, values, needs, assumptions, or goals. It can result from honest differences or misunderstandings or anger. Sometimes it is the result of expecting either too much or too little from people or situations.
Here are some tips:
Regardless of its cause, most conflict can be settled constructively if both parties are careful not to over- or under-react to it and both:
- View conflict as an opportunity to work together with another person to get to know each other’s goals, values, opinions, and approaches.
- Believe that conflict can be settled equitably and commit to finding a way to do it.
- Learn to give up things to get things.
- Avoid thinking their own way is the only way – or even the best way.
- Consider others’ views at the same time they maintain their own right to disagree.
- Compromise whenever they can do so.
When conflict is resolved constructively, you sometimes discover that what you thought was a conflict is simply a misunderstanding.
As you work to understand conflict and deal with it in productive ways, keep these questions in mind:
- In your opinion is conflict unavoidable in today’s workplace and would a reduction in unproductive conflict improve the workplace overall?
- Why do you feel this way?
- Could it be the result of some earlier experience with conflict that was mishandled or ignored?
- How can a workplace support normal and predictable conflicts but also provide a healthy, respectful, workplace culture?
- In other words, can people disagree, have different views but still be respectful and move on after conflicts are resolved? HOW?
Want to improve your ability to deal with conflict, try this:
Step 1: Think of the person in your group or work area you seem to have the most conflict with.
Step 2: Write down all the differences that you think you have with that person and analyze your list. Are these differences really serious or are they simply a matter of “style” or personal preference?
Step 3: Get together with the person you are thinking about and use the time together to really understand where the other person is coming from. Rather than trying to immediately and directly address your concerns, take some time to get to know the other person and build or strengthen the relationship. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that this effort may actually help to reduce the conflict and tension.
Step 4: Once this is done, address the points of conflict (if they still exist) in an open, honest, and respectful way! Or, if you have access to one, call your coach. Both can provide support and direction and a beginning to solving the issue.
Expanding the types of coaching to include on-demand curated materials isn’t just a nice idea – it’s an essential one. It provides extensive coaching support for all workers in today’s complex, changing, and demanding workplace.