I studied coaching skills as part of my Leadership Coaching Programme certified with the International Coaching Federation and delivered by The Forton Group. I am now licensed to deliver coaching skills training and have found the use of my skills beneficial in all aspects of service delivery. Recently I have also been asked for some evidence on the value generated when Line Managers use coaching skills. We are familiar with the concept of external coaches, However great results can also be achieved by the use of a coaching style in every day interactions.
For an organisation. the benefits of equipping their Managers with coaching skills go far beyond the obvious financial savings of not having an army of external coaches. Of course not everyone is able to coach and there still needs to be some consideration of confidentiality and neutrality. Taking these factors into account, many research studies have identified benefits. These include Rich, Schelling, Whitmore, Evered and Parsloe, all of whom point to coaching styles and behaviours and their positive effects. A stronger link between the adoption of coaching behaviours by line managers and the achievement of organisational goals is drawn in Louise Wheeler’s study showing a direct link to increased sales performance across four sites in an organisational case study. In fact, her research found that “The adoption of coaching by line managers does contribute to the achievement of organisational goals” as well as improving organisational culture and alignment of organisational and personal goals.
I have found great benefit in using my coaching skills in my consulting practice, as have many other consultants. Similarly, coaching skills are useful for trainers who can move to a stronger approach of facilitating learning when they blend the use of coaching skills with the practical “how to” aspects of their delivery. In fact research shows that the results from training improve by an incremental 60%+ when supported by focused Line Manager coaching. For these reasons, coaching skills are not just for professional coaches but for everyone needing to lead, influence, develop and manage people.
What benefits have you found in using a coaching style? What empirical research have you come across?
Reading: This week, I direct your attention to my article on the changing relationship between employers and employees, published in HR Director, which you can download below.
Lighter Reflections. My poor hound has had to undergo a major operation on his cruciate ligament this week. He has been feeling very sorry for himself not just because he is male, and thereby a big baby, but probably because he doesn’t understand what has happened or that he will recover. In taking him to the vet, I noticed how much enjoyment, care and pleasure our pets give us. I watched two elderly couples bringing in their dogs. One couple had a small, quite frankly what one could only call a scruffy little terrier, which bore more resemblance to a rat on a rope than a dog. The other couple was dragged in through the door behind a large strapping young male Dalmatian, and appeared quite comfortable with the process of being towed around the vet’s surgery. Both couples only had eyes for their “babies”, talking more to their dogs than each other. Nothing like that happens in our household of course!