5 Essential Elements for Successful Coaching

The start of any coaching experience should begin with a clear goal. It is essential to evaluate the strengths and skill gaps of the client to determine how to get from where they are now to where they want to be. This is a very individualized process, and the leadership coach is in a unique position to help create that “road map”. It is far from being a one-size-fits-all approach, but it must be tailored to each person in the context of their work environment.

Selecting the right problem-solving techniques can prevent a leader from getting “stuck” in the issues they're dealing with. An expert pitching coach knows the particular elements that a certain pitcher must work on, and the expert leadership coach can help the client define the specific actions that should be developed and practiced until they become natural. For a customer, this could be communication or delegation. The transformation processes used in leadership coaching are uniquely customized for the client and their particular needs. Without proven transformation processes, customer improvement can be short-lived.

It's easier to learn from someone you trust. Coaches must effectively set limits and build trust by being clear about the learning and development objectives they have set for themselves, showing good judgment, being patient and following through on the promises and agreements they make. If codes of practice are developed for training sessions, as mentioned above, they should clarify expectations, set limits and emphasize the need for confidentiality. Usually, there will be a mid-session review and a final review to evaluate the results compared to the goals and objectives of the sessions. The sessions may focus on the coach's thoughts, ideas and objectives and yet be beneficial to the organization. For this to happen, all interested parties must be aware that it is as important to train the person as it is to train the objectives.

Coaching is relational and requires commitment, time, candor, chemistry and trust. The actions and agreements that the coach takes must be the property of the coach; they will not be as effective if they have been influenced by the coach. All managers need some guidance on the whys and how of coaching, but most organizations can't afford to train them on a large scale, so the least they can do is strive to create a coaching culture. This process helps both the coach and the client to develop the most effective ways to close skill gaps and further improve strengths. It is essential to discuss any lack of chemistry with your coach first, as there is a chance of correcting the course. Even so, the best coaches use multiple proven evaluation tools to verify this and identify the client's strengths and weaknesses. If you're considering working with an executive coach, keep in mind that an effective coaching relationship requires five essential ingredients: open-ended questions, seeking alternative solutions to problems, encouraging reasonable risk-taking, positive thoughts and energy into your coaching sessions, and discussing any lack of chemistry with your coach first. Leaders and organizations have understood how valuable it can be, and they are adding the ability to train and develop others to the growing list of skills they require in all their managers.

But if you are aware that your motivation is to resolve conflicts so that you can have better relationships at work, then you have a strong reason for attending each coaching session. The coach helps the employee to establish significant behaviors and identify specific behaviors or steps to comply with them.