Aspects of coaching

The most important aspect of coaching, which should be every manager’s top priority, is adopting the practice that every interaction with a subordinate is a coaching opportunity. When a manager does this it goes a long way to establish a culture of coaching and this results in a fair amount of spontaneous coaching. Examples of this type of coaching are as follows:

  1. Reinforcing good behaviour. This simply means looking for situations when a subordinate is doing something right and complimenting him/her on doing so.Most managers are usually quick to be critical of a subordinate but fail to spend sufficient time reinforcing good performance, even though it is efficient and cost-free.
  2. Identifying and discouraging incorrect behaviour. In order to initiate behaviour change please refer to the articles titled Great managers – understanding behaviour change and its probability of happening and Great managers – how to facilitate behaviour change.

Evaluating the effectiveness of training and/or coaching

The key to effective formalized training and coaching programs is a test of self-sufficiency that confirms the subordinate is now self-sufficient in that area. A common mistake that many managers make is to assume that once the training and/or coaching is completed that the subordinate is immediately self-sufficient.

Accordingly, the manager should conduct the following activities:

  1. Ensure that there is a test (whenever possible) for self-sufficiency that the subordinate must take after any formalized training or coaching activity and;
  2. A scheduled follow-up assessment of self-sufficiency to ensure that it’s permanent.

Also important in determining the effectiveness of any spontaneous coaching is the manager’s personal commitment to determine how s/he will ensure her/himself that change is taking place and:

  1. Reinforce the changed behaviour when it happens.
  2. Address the subordinate if it does not and determine what the next actions should be.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me.

By Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF mentor,

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