It’s not just Coaches that coach

By Kate Phillips, Learning and Development Manager at the Cambridge NetworkIn the first of our L & D blogs series, Kate Phillips, Learning and Development Manager at the Cambridge Network shines a spotlight on coaching.

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Coaching has a great reputation for being one of the most effective methods for generating growth and development in people, and by extension, organisations. According to the ICF* 70% of individuals who received coaching benefited from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills, with 86% of companies feeling that the investment they made into coaching was worthwhile. Coaching is an invaluable skill for anyone involved in managing and/or developing people in many situations. It’s not just for professional Coaches. You can develop these skills too.

Let’s paint a picture. Imagine a manager that has been promoted for their technical prowess or success. They find themselves with a team to manage and these colleagues have a lot of questions. This manager hasn’t yet acquired people management or development skills, and there’s temptation to simply tell the team what to do and how to do it, rather than developing via coaching. Often this ‘tell’ is based on what they (the manager) did themselves – their personal success strategy.

Simply telling is very inviting when you’re under pressure, especially if you consider KPIs and time pressures, and it can feel like there’s risk in letting someone try something different. But… it’s a trap:

  1. That solution may have worked for this manager but there’s no guarantee it will work for other colleagues (exceptions include training, new starters, or specific compliance-based tasks)

  2. Telling isn’t sustainable – you have your own work to do. And what happens if you’re not available? Needing to ask the manager creates a bottle neck for information, productivity, growth and expansion of capability.

  3. It’s not as enabling, empowering or powerful as coaching, and that has negative impact on engagement.

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Coaching isn’t just helping someone learn and grow, it’s helping them develop the capacity to grow and learn for themselves. Great coaches ask questions to help the colleague (coachee) develop flexibility of perspective, agility of thought, reflexivity, openness, independence and/or whatever core skills are important for success in their situation, and this applies across a variety of workplace scenarios, not just one task.

Coaching is usually done 121, but you can coach a group. It can be formal planned time or informal support conversation. Coaching does require skills and training to truly enable change, but it’s not just for those who want to be independent career coaches – line managers or anyone who works in people development are perfectly placed to become Coaches.

So how can you develop these amazing Coaching skills? 

We’re glad you asked, click here to find out. 

'Introduction to Coaching for Managers', Course date: March 30th 2022

Thanks for reading, look out for the next installment of our L & D blog series, coming soon. 


*ICF is the International Coaching Federation

Images: Pixabay