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Chapter 2: Creating a Coaching Landscape

OVERVIEW

One of the most effective skills that you can develop in your workforce is the ability to coach. Coaching underpins all the great advances of our time, that unique ability to share knowledge and understanding in such a way that the learner takes ownership and moves on. Think of it as a synchronous baton change in a relay race, or the way rowers gain momentum when all the oars touch the water at the right moment and the boat surges forward. Developing a joy of sharing knowledge and wisdom is one of the most natural behaviours that needs to be incubated and developed. Think of the way that a grandparent sits with a child and shares his or her wisdom. Think of the special teachers that you have known and how they inspired your learning. Then think of a normal workplace with all the tensions and pressures and challenges of delivering bottom-line results within a limited time-frame. Is coaching really achievable within this context? Many organizations believe that it is and in its value in developing potential.

The rationale for this resource is based on change and how coaching can support that change. The change can be at many levels, organizational, team or individual. Change in an organizational context may be far reaching and part of a global or national strategic plan for transformation. Change may involve the need for a team to operate differently, to work together more effectively or to coordinate their activities with other teams. Change for the individual may be the need to be more personally effective, to fulfil potential or to change direction.

The corporate world is changing quite dramatically. Businesses are facing challenges on an unprecedented scale and the retention of key employees is a major ongoing challenge. Employees equally are looking for organizations that value their contribution. One major way of helping all individuals fulfil their potential is to develop a coaching environment; this is not something that will be achieved overnight, but if you can engender a sense of sharing wisdom you are more likely to create a real sense of personal development. This is very different from the process of 'managing'. Coaching can play a very important role in enabling transformation.

There are key areas to focus on:

  1. Identify organizational readiness for coaching.

  2. Identify potential coaches.

  3. The role of the coach.

  4. Develop the right attitudes and behaviours.

  5. Equipping the coaches with the right skills and knowledge.

  6. Coaching to support the change process.

  7. Learn from the experience; share the wisdom.


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