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You’re Up, Coach: Three Unique Approaches to Workplace Coaching

Whether you're a new leader or a seasoned coach, and whether your team is comprised of entry level members or experienced professionals, coaching styles can vary greatly depending on the context and the individual leader's approach. Consider these three approaches to coaching with an aim to improve employee recognition and productivity.

Coaching Styles to Consider: Which one is right for you?

1.      Development Coaching

In this more traditional approach, leaders help employees to recognize challenges as opportunities for development, and together, design a plan to use resources to build appropriate skills to improve performance on the job. This approach to coaching is collaborative, building the employee’s confidence in their ability to make developmental changes.

2.      Peer Coaching

This mutual partnership is between employees who are, as the name would suggest, peers. Peer Coaching provides opportunities for employees to be candid with each other about their concerns, challenges, frustrations, and objectives during regularly scheduled time together to reflect on their work practices, help each other to set goals, and provide valuable feedback to each other. They have a shared benefit of success from their partnership and tend to be more honest about challenges they face in their work without the fear of looking “incompetent” to the boss while they work toward their goals.

3.      Holistic Coaching

In this approach, the coach must consider the interconnectedness of an individual’s personal

characteristics with work, and life. The coach must recognize that to thrive in the workplace, an employee must understand their role as part of the bigger picture and be valued for their unique abilities, skills, and personal characteristics. The coach must also understand how these characteristics may contribute to, or be triggered by, activities in the workplace or at home, which can affect workplace relationships, productivity, and absenteeism. A focus on holistic personal and professional development will ultimately contribute to enhanced employee wellness and self-awareness on teams, increased productivity (both individual and team), employee engagement and provide validation to the employee in the form of unique recognition.

Tips for Successful Coaching Outcomes

Whatever your approach, you must always:

  • establish trust – a mutual and shared trust between coach and employee takes time, honesty, and some vulnerability. Embrace it.

  • be goal-focused – it’s great to offer unique recognition and reward, honour someone’s vulnerabilities in the workplace, but the aim is still to improve one’s effectiveness at work, and to do so, you must define clear and measurable goals toward which you are working.

  • choose the right approach – it’s one thing to think about being that holistic leader, and it’s another to follow through with it effectively. If that’s not you or doesn’t align with your values as an organization or leadership team, find another approach that does.

You’ve got to remember that what works for one person, may not work for another. A new employee may benefit more from the traditional developmental coaching from a mentor with expertise, while a more seasoned employee might benefit more from a deeper, more holistic assessment of their relationship to their work, and embark on a journey to professional and personal self-improvement. Either way, coaching requires a specific skill set to be successful, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Not to worry, Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services can help you find the right approach for you and your teams and provide you with the building blocks to be successful. 

From the LIHR team and lead collaborator, Ellen Brown HR Consultant at Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services

Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services

Book a meeting with Lisa here 

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