A really simple version of Coaching

The concept

A simple application of coaching to a typical scenario in the workplace – staff coming to you, as their Manager, and expecting you to answer a question for them.  A question, which you believe that with a little effort on their part, they are likely to be able to answer for themselves.  So when a staff member comes up to you and asks ‘What should we do about XYZ’?:

Don’t answer it – We know that is the temptation, because solving problems is what you get paid for isn’t it (or is it)?

Ask ”What do you think you should do?” – to which they actually need to think and come up with a way forward.

Ask “Do you think this is the best way forward?”  This just pushes them a little bit further to stand behind their solution.

Ask “So what are you going to do now/next?”  They now have to commit to an action.

Why it’s useful

Coaching doesn’t necessarily need to be time-consuming activity. Applying ‘coaching’ to day-to-day situations where you are viewed by staff as the ‘problem solver’ enables you to potentially break a cycle of dependence which, over time, empowers your staff and grows their capability and confidence.  Ideally it also frees up your time to focus on other matters!

How/when to apply it

If a situation emerges where a staff member asks you such a question – looking for an answer from you – you will need to ask yourself the question: Do I believe the answer lies within them?  If the answer is ‘yes’ then give it a go!  If you believe that they do not have sufficient knowledge, information or experience to answer the question then you make take a different approach.

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