September 26, 2011

Employee Coaching: Does it Work?

Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

Robert Teal

Employee Coaching: Does it Work?

By Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

Employee coaching takes on many faces and many roles: training and development, performance improvement, and advancement and additional responsibility. All of us are recipients and purveyors of coaching, often without realizing that it is even occurring. Although many organizations have formal coaching and development programs directed at a select group of high performers, coaching takes place every day with virtually every employee. Coaching should not be confused with a structured training program or a “command and control” management style, the latter being best described as check your brains at the door.

Consider something as simple as an exchange between an employee and their manager about the style of an upcoming presentation and its audience. Within that exchange are both explicit and implicit coaching cues and signals. While signals dealing with the topic, time, date, place, audience members, length, format, and roles may be very unambiguous; cues such as the tone of the manager’s speech and body language can and do send very subtle clues which the employee will implicitly recognize as directions. Both parties may be completely unaware of these faint cues; nevertheless, they are communicating desired and undesired behaviors. The analogy is similar to a baseball bat vs. a flyswatter, both may get the job done, but the bat is going to leave a lot more collateral damage than the flyswatter. (more…)

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