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Coaching For High Performance

Aug 9, 2008
Coaching is a term that is used very frequently in many areas of human activity: sport, school, work or even family. There is a misunderstanding what is the difference between Training and Coaching. Both, the Training and Coaching, can broadly be understood as a learning process for an individual. The difference is in method of learning.

During the Training, the Trainee is passively receiving and adopting knowledge from his trainer or teacher. In this process the stress is given to term "Telling" how something can be accomplished.

On the other hand during the Coaching process, the Coach is "Showing" to his Coach how to accomplish something and then "Asking" from him/her to do it.

Coaching is a skill which can be applied to unlock others' potential to maximize their performance. Coaching is a form of on-the-job learning that uses work or any other live situation to provide opportunities for planned development and guidance. It also involves helping people to develop skill of learning by themselves, rather than simply teaching them. Coaching is steering the individual in the right direction.

Coaching is Development at work in which problems are turned into learning situations, in a planned way, under guidance of the Coach.

Why is Coaching That Important?

Although a sport champion is world class, he/she spends a lot of time with his/her coach to constantly improve on performance. Most people understand that the very best performers in the world still want and need coaching to improve still further. They know that otherwise they will be outrun by others however good they are, therefore they can still do better. The same rule applies in the business.

Benefits of Coaching are:

- Development of people

- Full use of experience

- Development of specific skills

- Changing or encouraging of particular attitudes or behaviors

- Reinforcement of areas of knowledge

- Sharing experience and expertise

- Motivation and guidance

- Preparation of people to act more responsibility

The Communication System

Often people's style of management is turned towards telling. This is almost certainly because we experience this all our lives, from the school onwards, and simply apply what we know. There are advantages of telling. Knowledge or instructions are easily communicated. From the other side, it limits people's involvement, initiative and decision making.

A more balanced style is Coaching that combines telling with asking. Through questioning, Coach is providing the Coach with control because he/she chooses the way forward, has high awareness and is 100% responsible, whilst the coach, on hearing details of the Coach's views and plans have the opportunity to check it against expectation. Then, Coach can support him/her or take control if it is necessary.

Coaching is Not About Power and Status

Because the Coaching if focused on Coach, it releases the Coach from the need to be an expert necessarily. For example, top sports people rely on their Coach, even though they may not have the same high athletic levels of the sports person. These Coaches clearly cannot "coach downwards" from a position of expertise and power, and yet they can improve performance. Coaching allows them to coach upwards; and if this is possible, so is sideways coaching (between peers) and outward coaching (with customers/clients).

Coaching can be really successful even if you are not an expert. However, coaching can also be by experts, for example a Sales Supervisor coaching a Salesman, or by someone who isn't expert in the field. These skills can apply either way and the key is in developing the individual.
About the Author
Laurus Nobilis has 11 years of experience in FMCG business. In 2007 he has started the www.biz-development.com web site dedicated to development of managerial skills. He also runs www.my-introspective.com a Personal Exploration and Development Guide.
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