Saturday 19th January 11:27

People Skills: Coaching

When a manager moves towards more empowered forms of working, one of the key roles he or she undertakes is that of coach to the team. Coaching is not just a practical role where the manager passes on knowledge and skills. It is also a supportive role where, instead of holding people back, it inspires and motivates them forward. It is also a role where managers get to know about the individuals in their team and how they can bring out the best in them.

1. From Cop to Coach

Tom Peters coined the phrase "from cop to coach" to describe the change in role of managers in modern people-focused organisations. Peters described the changes in modern management as...
· from cop to coach
· from nay-sayer to yea-sayer
· from rule-enforcer to rule-breaker
· from planner to wanderer
· from restrainer to helper
· from work scheduler to work co-ordinator
· from controller to releaser
· from enemy to friend
· from one of "them" to one of "us".

As a coaching figure rather than a controlling figure, the modern manager can both steer people and grow them. Here are two coaching models based on these two ideas.

2. The STEER Coaching Model

STEER is a mnemonic for coaching someone where you take the lead and point them in the direction you want them to go. It is not as facilitative as the GROW model (below). As such it is more of an instructional model than a developmental one. These are the steps:
S stands for Spot the Opportunity or Need
T stands for Tailor the intervention to the trainee and situation
E stands for Explain and Demonstrate how the task should be done
E stands for Encourage them while they practise
R stands for Review if they haven't got it yet or Reinforce if they have.

3. The GROW Coaching Model

GROW is a mnemonic for coaching someone where you, as coach, work with the learner's needs and aspirations. It is not as directive as STEER but instead works with people's needs and abilities. As such it is a developmental model more than an instructional one. These are the steps:
G stands for Goals and answers the question, "What do you want to achieve?"
R stands for Reality and answers the questions, "Where are you now?", "Why are you stuck?", and "What can't you do?"
O stands for Options and answers the question, "What could you do next?"
W stands for Will and answers the question, "OK, what would you like to do now?"

Although coaching is seen as a new addition to the role of manager, it is not really new. It is simply a way of getting people to do their job to the best of their abilities which has always been the aim of people management. The key difference is historical. Instead of seeing the manager as a remote figure, he or she is now a hands-on helping figure. 

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