Workplace Coaching? Affirmative

by Shaun Kieran

The thing I like best about coaching is how straightforward it is: either our sessions are useful in a tangible way, or they’re not. If they’re not, the sessions should stop.

Sometimes it’s crystal clear why the sessions are helping. The interactions are stimulating, validating, liberating, or something that feels right. Sometimes it’s less obvious, but it’s usually about external structure and accountability.

Either way, positive actions follow from the sessions – and that’s positive as defined by the client.

Even people who do pretty well working alone can find that having someone to brainstorm with, someone to run things past, someone to think out loud with in a risk-free situation – above all, someone to help move things forward is an invaluable asset.

No longer is it only the rich and famous who have personal assistants, advisors, and personal trainers. Now anyone trying to get from Point A to Point B can hire a trained, credentialed, insured professional.

Study after study keeps showing that people like coaching and their coaches. It’s the complete opposite of being sold a bill of goods, or getting into a dependent relationship with a guru.

Coaches are allies, but not sycophants. They support, but also reflect back honestly how what they’re hearing seems to fit with where things are supposed to be going.

Above all, the process is “positive” not painful, and clients should be looking forward to the meetings.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lissa Holgate

Great points! I agree that coaches are allies. Coaches should always have the intention of helping their client take it to the next level – a bit like the pilot of the client’s private plane!

shaun

Hi Lissa-

What I find is that the problem cuts both ways. Of course it’s true that some supervisors become focused on responsibility, authority, and control right away – which makes for tons of problems for the supervisor and the workplace.

But I also see a portion of employees instinctively geared up to see the boss – any boss – as an adversary, if not an outright enemy. This emotional undercurrent is hard to prove sometimes, but it’s real.

My point always is that it’s up to the supervisor to ride out some of the early resistance, stay focused, and keep the big picture in mind. It seems obvious, but it gets lost in the day-to-day functioning.

Thanks for stopping by. Lissa.

Shaun

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