Coaching Resources

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The formal or informal training of employees is often referred to as coaching. Coaching programs can be used to mentor high-ranking, senior or junior staff members, including as part of onboarding programs, or during inter-departmental employee transfers. Formal coaching practices developed by HR do more than transfer knowledge: they build company culture by uniting staff together. Additionally, having effective mentoring practices is essential to long term succession planning and during the turnover of staff.

It is important to note the distinction between the fact of coaching and its concrete methods, tactics, goals and presenters. That's because coaching can have positive effects within an organization merely in virtue of being a symbol of management commitment to employees and an implicit recognition of their importance to the company. Of course, that effect can be nullified if the coaching is done from a "bully pulpit", with adverse consequences on employee morale and performance-hence the importance of choosing business coaches carefully and wisely.

Coaching in one of its main forms focuses on employee development for individuals within an organization to improve performance and productivity. It can be one-on-one and focus on a specific single goal. On the other hand, it can have a group format with multiple goals. If a distinction is to be drawn between coaching and mentoring (and even counseling), with mentoring interpreted as a form of teaching, or, if knowledge-focused, skill and information-oriented, whereas coaching is likely to be presented as something broader, with an additional emphasis on motivation, attitudes and other emotional/volitional job factors, apart from task skills and knowledge. However, the distinction is unlikely to be seen as being very clear-cut to all coaches and their clients.

Coaching is also available for the self-employed who work alone, to guide them in the conduct and structuring of their businesses.

Anyone within an organization can benefit from coaching programs. Managers can become better managers; employees can become better employees. Coaching need not be outsourced: Someone within the organization could act as coach, or someone from a professional agency could be hired, such as in the case of motivational sales consultants. The coach should be personable and trustworthy so that the coachee will be receptive. Just as importantly, the selected mentor or coach must be comfortable in their role and not threatened by the prospect of transferring knowledge.

Coaches can help individuals with nearly every aspect of their career. Some areas that people seek help with are time management, project management, communication, problem-solving, and others. What an individual struggles with most on a job can indicate an area to consider targeting for help and guidance. Some situations, such as corporate change, may also necessitate a coach at a higher corporate stratum.

The coach starts off by building a positive relationship with the coachee because individuals listen better to people whom they like. The coach uses open-ended questions to help the individual gain new perspectives and insight and to aid in self-reflection. Then the coach helps the coachee to work through problems on their own by guiding thought processes. Once the coached is able to work through the problem on his or her own, the coach/coached relationship has come to an end. A good coach will avoid badgering, favoritism, condescension, intimidation, dismissiveness, humiliation, adversarial behavior and other unproductive tactics.
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