Coaching Definition - InsideOut Developement
What Is Coaching?
“Coaching” is a term that has different meanings for different people and organizations. Even within professional coaching associations the term covers a broad array of definitions and nuances. Contrary to many popular definitions within the executive coachingl industry, InsideOut Development believes that the majority of coaching can and should be done as part of the day-to-day work of managers.
InsideOut Development defines coaching as follows:
In more pragmatic terms, coaching is a way of communicating with purpose to get things done with commitment and action. Anyone seeking breakthrough performance in any area of life can benefit from coaching. Our coaching process puts emphasis on “communication,” “commitment,” and “action.” Underlying our definition of coaching is our philosophy that breakthrough improvement must come from the inside-out, and that the role of the coach is to unlock the capacity that is already within each individual. A coach assumes a specific role and responsibilities when coaching from the inside out:
Coaches Working from the Inside Out
Coaches Working from the Outside In
Provide employees with tools for setting and reaching goals.
Set goals for employees and get their buy-in.
Help employees identify solutions and remove barriers.
Instruct, persuade, infuse, force, or cajole improvement out of employees.
Check progress with employees and help focus attention and efforts.
Micromanage employees to make sure things get done.
Hold employees accountable for their results.
Be accountable for results.
InsideOut's Coaching Model
With the InsideOut Coaching approach, the act of coaching becomes an unbelievably simple and reliable process for
enhancing performance in just about any context. Our coaching approach is built around a simple process called
GROW® The GROW® Model was
co-developed by InsideOut founder Alan Fine more than 25 year ago. Fine believed, then and now, that breakthrough
performance comes from the inside out. The GROW® Model helps
managers and coaches work with their employees to unleash their own
potential and talents.
An employee and coach work through each element of GROW®:
- Goals: Set S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, meaningful, agreed to, realistic, and time-phased)
- Reality: Define the current status - where we are now
- Options: Define the future status - where we want to be
- Way forward: Identify realistic next steps
Three performance elements underlie the effectiveness of the GROW® Model:
Faith, Fire, and Focus. Faith is how strongly employees believe in their skills and abilities.
Fire is about employees' energy and enthusiasm toward the goals and their outcome. Focus
deals with paying attention to the most important things and eliminating or ignoring distractions.
The more a coach can help increase employees' faith, fire, and focus, the more effective the GROW® Model becomes. The entire coaching model puts the onus for action and accountability squarely on the shoulders of employees. They are not dependent on the coach because the model works from the inside out, with the employee being responsible, and not from the outside in, with the coach being responsible.
Leader as Coach
Coaching has become a critical competency for leaders in today's business environment. In the Ivey Business Journal article
"Creating a Performance Culture", Joanne Reid and Victoria Hubbell identified "adopting a coaching style of leadership" among their
top six best practices for leaders in top-performing organizations. The reason coaching has become such a critical competency is
because your employee are the experts at what they do, not you. In directing the efforts of today's highly educated knowledge
workers, few leaders enjoy an expertise advantage. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Successful coaching isn't a matter of
outsmarting your people, but of helping them apply the smarts they already have.
How then can leader-coaches emerge in the culture? Coaching is both a skill that can be learned and a process for managing coaching conversations. If leaders obtain the right skills and apply a proven process, coaching conversations begin to occur spontaneously and successfully.
Coaching is less about teaching and more about learning. It's less about giving more knowledge and more about helping employees do what they already know. To become an effective leader-coach requires learning and proficiency in the following competencies:
- Listening: Listens to understand and to demonstrate understanding of both the issues and the emotions involved. Listens beyond the words and discerns what's not being said as much as what's being said.
- Observing: Accurately sees the non-verbal language being communicated.
- Creating: Creates a safe, non-judgmental environment by:
- Suspending judgment
- Expecting and allowing the unexpected to show up in coaching conversations
- Respecting the employee's perspective, whether he or she agrees with it or not
- Putting aside his or her own agenda
Learning and applying the GROW® Model and other tools with employees helps manage
coaching conversations by increasing the focus of both the coach and the employee. Leader-coaches understand how to
help employees deal with the real root causes of most performance shortcomings, including attitude issues, mental and
environmental distractions, mistaken priorities, and lack of focus.
The result is that the employee's capacity is accessed, leading to faster, more accurate decisions. Making faster, better decisions is what Fine refers to as Decision Velocity. Better decisions lead to focused action, which lead to faster results. As the employee's Decision Velocity begins to accelerate, employees become empowered and excited about their own success. The process becomes ingrained in them. They use the leader-coach as a sounding board or mentor, but they realize the power for exponential improvement lies within their own power. Then the leader-coach truly sees the energy, talents, and skills of employees unleashed.
Using InsideOut's coaching process, leader-coaches can help employees:
- 1. Clarify thinking
- 2. Set goals and create plans
- 3. Identify and access resources
- 4. Identify and manage obstacles
- 5. Focus on results and sustainability
- 6. Stay accountable
Many organizations have pockets of great coaching. These pockets typically develop when the current leader happens to have experience with coaching. But to achieve a culture of coaching, you must:
- Gain buy-in from executives, managers, and front line employees.
- Establish a common coaching language and model in the organization.
- Train a broad depth and breadth of leaders and managers on the coaching process.
- Observe and reinforce coaching conversations happening at all levels of the organization.
A coaching culture inspires open, honest communication and trust. It's truly exciting to see the transparency of a coaching culture. It virtually shuts down the proverbial "rumor mill."Instead, leaders and employees engage in conversations where ideas are shared openly and with integrity. With so much interference out of the way, the talent of the workforce is unleashed to set and achieve organizational goals. In this way, coaching truly inspires breakthrough performance.
Products and services
Learn more about InsideOut Development's products and services for coaching.