Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2014 Contents Coaching is the new buzz-
word that has many curious
to know what it is and why
it is slowly becoming a
growth industry in the
Coaching is simply a conversation between
the coach and the coachee (manager/supervisor
and employee), where the coach seeks to get
the coachee to move from where he/she is
presently to where they see themselves in the
future. In other words, getting someone to
move from a state of awareness to taking action
in order to bring about change within them-
The coach, by asking questions and listening
intently, gets the coachee to recognise the gap
that exists between the now to where they
want to be, and zero in on the specific area
they need to work on. The coach will guide
the person to set goals for themselves and take
the necessary action steps that will help them
reach to that point of fulfilment.
Author of bestselling Inner Games books,
W Timothy Gallwey said that "coaching is
unlocking a person s potential to maximise
their own performance. "It is helping them
to learn rather than teaching them".
Managers of today s workforce cannot rule
by fear or controlling tactics and expect to
achieve the desired results for the organisation.
John Whitmore in his book Coaching for Per-
formance said "coaching is a management
behaviour that lies at the opposite end of the
spectrum to command and control". Thus,
managers cannot continue to use the big stick
approach and expect to get different results.
Organizations need to create a culture that
fosters employees growth and development.
Marty Brounstein, author of Coaching and
Mentoring for Dummies, defines coaching as
"an approach to management---how one carries
out the role of being a manager.
" Coaching is a set of skills for managing
employee performance to deliver results. Being
a coach means that you see and approach the
role of a manager as a leader: one who chal-
lenges and develops your employees skills
and abilities to achieve the best performance
It is important to note that today s workplace
demands a new skills set, where more soft
skills are needed to build relationships with
both the internal and external clients. Managers
and Supervisors can therefore adopt a coaching
approach to ensure that their employees display
positive work attitude, manage their time
effectively, bring out their problem solving
abilities, become team-players, have the
required communication skills to interact with
colleagues and clients, be confidant and flexible
to high demands in the workplace.
Knowing when to coach
As managers, we are all sometimes guilty
of focusing more on tasks and getting the job
done. However, we need to recognise that
there will be times when we must focus our
attention on the people we manage.
Some of the "red flags" that will indicate
when to focus more on people rather than
tasks are as follows:
• Staff members who are having problems
accomplishing his/her job.
• Teammates who become bored and seem
to think that their job is too monotonous.
• Those trouble makers we will always
encounter people in our teams who are not
doing their part and not pulling their weight
in getting the task done.
• There are also those who like their job
and eager to learn but are stumbling along the
way. These "star employees" are crucial to
productivity and should therefore be guided
In instances like these, the manager/super-
visor need to understand the situation they
are facing, get to know the person and their
skill set. Then by adopting a coaching process,
they can work together to improve the situation
and instil confidence in that employee.
GROW coaching model
The GROW model is a simple method for
problem solving with your employees and get-
ting them to setting goals for themselves. It
was created by Sir John Whitmore PhD, and
is popularised in his best-selling book, Coach-
ing for Performance.
The acronym GROW stands for (G)oals,
(R)eality, (O)ptions and (W)ill, highlighting the
four key steps in the implementation of the
GROW coaching model.
Goal: first establish the change that must
happen and get the employee to set a goal to
make that change a reality. Use the SMART
approach in setting goals: specific, measurable,
attainable, realist and timely.
Current Reality: here you need to ask the
employee to describe his/her current challenge.
Ask open ended questions to get the employee
to share more about the situation or problem
that needs changing.
Options: at this stage you brainstorm with
the employee on possible solutions to fix the
situation and help him/her decide what will
be the best approach to address the problem.
Will: at this final stage you need to ask
questions such as what will you do now, and
when? to get the employee to commit to taking
action to works towards attaining the goal.
Skills of the manager as coach
Managers or supervisors who do not have
the necessary skills set to coach employees
can acquire it from attending workshops and
books. Among some of the skills, a good coach
needs to be an active listener, ask the right
questions, know when to give feedback, be
open to receive feedback, and build agreement
as you seek to get the employee to commit to
the coaching process.
Benefits of workplace coaching
The executive management of the organ-
isation entrust upon their managers and super-
visors the responsibility of managing the day-
to-day operations of the company. Their role
is to ensure that employees accomplish the
task and profits are made. Of course the Exec-
utive Management needs to create a coaching
culture to support the entire process.
Some benefits the coach would enjoy are
better performance from their team, shared
responsibility frees up time for the manager
that can be spent on how to transform the
department, focus on building relationships,
and by working together you get the employee
to uphold agreements.
For the employee being coached, they are
more motivated and engaged, they are com-
mitted to doing their best, increased confidence
and self-esteem, and they become creative
thinkers who can be innovative with their
In conclusion, two very important ingre-
dients for successful coaching in the workplace,
is transforming the culture, as mentioned
earlier and the management styles of those
supervisors and managers who are responsible
for the employees. "To compete effectively in
today s global marketplace, employees at all
levels---leaders and individual contributors
alike---must make a commitment to their on-
going personal and professional development"
(excerpt from the book Bringing Out The Best
In Everyone You Coach by Ginger Lapid-
Coaching is not only beneficial for personal
growth and development, but over the years,
many organisations have realised that coaching
is also about professional development.
Coaching can be very effective for super-
visors and managers by ensuring that they
have the relevant skills to manage and lead
their team. However, coaching in the workplace
adds more value to employees across all levels.
It is important to note that coaching is not
training; training teaches a person a new skill
while coaching is a journey to self-discovery.
Nashroon Mohammed, BA (Hons), Dip
LC, CCC, CLTMC is a career coach and medi-
ator with the Mediation Board of T&T. She
is a member with International Coach Fed-
eration (ICF) and board member of
SEPTEMBER 28 • 2014 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | SBG15
Coaching for the workplace:
the best in your
"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only
help him discover it within himself."
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