What is Coaching?

How to be an Effective Coach

Coaching is great for developing people's skills and abilities.

© iStockphoto/peepo

You've probably heard people talking about coaching in the workplace.

You might have even received some coaching in the past, or you might have used coaching to improve a person's performance, even if you didn't actually describe it as "coaching" at the time.

But what actually is coaching, and how do you use it? And what skills do you need to be an effective coach?

In this article, we'll look at the basics of coaching in the workplace. We'll clarify what it involves, and review the key approaches that you can use to be a successful coach. We'll also review some situations where coaching can be useful, and look at some examples of coaching questions.

About Coaching

Coaching is a useful way of developing people's skills and abilities, and of boosting performance. It can also help deal with issues and challenges before they become major problems.

A coaching session will typically take place as a conversation between the coach and the coachee (person being coached), and it focuses on helping the coachee discover answers for themselves. After all, people are much more likely to engage with solutions that they have come up with themselves, rather than those that are forced upon them!

In some organizations, coaching is still seen as a corrective tool, used only when things have gone wrong. But in many companies, coaching is considered to be a positive and proven approach for helping others explore their goals and ambitions, and then achieve them.

Coaches in the workplace are not...

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