Coaching has become a very popular developmental tool in many organizations. There is no doubt that this method of enhancing individual and organizational performance is highly effective. Yet, the manner in which many organizations approach, design, structure, and implement coaching initiatives is questionable.
Firstly, there is a mistaken perception that coaching is a more “elite” form of learning compared to instructor-led training and so is reserved for senior and executive management positions only. The primary objective of coaching is more about making the good better, and the better the best, while training is more of a remedial tool intended to close gaps and correct poor performance. Coaching therefore should not be the prerogative of a few but should be available throughout an organization’s workforce.
Secondly, a successful coaching initiative largely depends on the commitment and motivation of the coachee. “Forcing” employees to work with a coach can negate all the valuable benefits of the initiative. Organizations must implement a strong communication and trust-building plan before initiating the coaching process to gain employee willingness, commitment, and partnership.
Thirdly, a fruitful coaching initiative must be designed to include the following at the minimum:
- Clearly identified goals: Is the focus on personal development, performance enhancement or both?
- Expected results outcomes: With robust coaching related metrics linked to the identified goals. How specifically will the coachee’s development translate into the organization’s strengths?
- Methodology: A results-oriented process that is consistent within the organization, yet customized to the unique needs of each coachee
Like everything else, for coaching to be truly effective in any organization, it must be done right.