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The 5 Preconditions for Effective Coaching

Teaching leaders how to coach their teams and foster truly effective relationships can only happen if specific interpersonal dynamics are established.

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Coaching is essential to improving performance in a business. Almost anyone can supervise but not everyone is an effective coach, and without them your bottom line will suffer. A good coaching program will help companies reduce waste, help develop strong skills in individuals and create more robust and cohesive teams.

The process is not much different than coaching a team in sports. The goal of any coach is to help a team develop skills to improve their performance. They are used when a specific skill needs to be improved, a particular problem solved or a plan of action formed to overcome an obstacle — and are most effective when five conditions are met before the process begins.

Related: Coaching Makes All the Difference

1. Goal orientation

Coaching is a result-based activity that should increase the self-confidence of the coachee. It should lead to improved work performance, better work relationships and more effective communication. To help both sides navigate this task, using a structured approach is helpful. The GROW framework (for "Goal," "Reality," "Options," and "Way forward") is an example of one method that can teach team members how to assess and tackle issues.

2. A good relationship between coach and coachee

A high level of trust, transparency and mutually-agreed-upon goals is critical to achieving positive coaching outcomes. The coachee must view the coach as an ally and partner in their development. There is the potential that the former may view the latter as a spy looking to gather intelligence to be used against him or her later, so it's important to craft a process that allows for coachee honesty and vulnerability, without any fear of reprisal.

Related: Your Team Will Succeed Only if They Trust Each Other

3. A coachable coachee

The coachee's attitude impacts how effective this entire process will be. They must be open and committed to the process and expect to succeed. In short, he or she must believe in it and know that identified goals can be achieved.

4. A coachee who feels responsible

Coaches cannot singlehandedly change the behavior and attitudes of those they instruct. Both preparedness and mindset rest solely with the coachee as a willing participant. Coaches are there to instruct, but the actions necessary to implement the lessons learned rest solely on the other half of the equation.

5. A collaborative mindset

This process is not strictly mentoring or teaching: There is not necessarily a knowledge transfer at work. Both are partners, with the shared aim of helping the coachee gain insight and make their own choices about what actions to take. Those instructed should never feel forced into action or feel like the coach makes decisions on their behalf.

Related:10 Simple Ways to Build a Collaborative, Successful Work Environment

Maximizing your organization's success requires investing time in developing its members. Taking the time to teach your leaders how to coach their team and foster effective relationships in that process is essential for enduring growth. Such an investment will result in a healthier and more resilient team ready to tackle challenges.

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