Coaching to improve performance

This is a guest article written by Sarah Cook, author of Coaching for High Performance – How to develop exceptional results through coaching . The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of IT Governance.

Coaching is a proven way of improving performance in a business setting. It is a technique that all IT professionals will find invaluable. One of the benefits of coaching is that it can be applied to many settings and undertaken in as little as fifteen minutes.

The benefits of coaching

Fortune Magazine undertook a survey in 2016 about the benefits for companies that encouraged coaching. Its research found that coaching resulted in improvements in:

  • Productivity (reported by 53% of respondents)
  • Quality (48%)
  • Organisational strength (48%)
  • Customer service (39%)

Respondents also reported benefits in the following areas:

  • Reducing customer complaints (34%)
  • Retaining executives who received coaching (32%)
  • Cost reductions (23%)
  • Bottom-line profitability (22%)

When, where and who to coach

Coaching can help people improve their confidence, create a greater impact at work, manage their careers, plan for succession, and manage interpersonal relationships as well as improve their performance.

Coaching is a tool that can be used at any time and in any place – for example, via phone, FaceTime, Skype or face-to-face.  As an IT manager, there are a wide number of people that you may be able to coach, ranging from direct reports, colleagues and key stakeholders to self-coaching yourself.

The coaching process

In its simplest form, coaching is a questioning process that helps the student:

  • Set a coaching goal – by asking what the student wants to achieve and helping them set specific objectives that are time-bound, realistic and achievable
  • Raise their awareness of the current situation – by asking questions about the student’s issue, how and when it occurs, its impact and what they have tried to resolve the situation
  • Generate ideas to achieve the goal by encouraging brainstorming and new ways of thinking
  • Agree a plan of action that helps the student take steps to achieve their coaching goal.

Coaching is based on the principle that the student has the solutions to their issues. The coach therefore acts as an enabler in this process, encouraging the student to take ownership of and accountability for their own solutions.

Become a coaching manager

Coaching is a forward-focused and goal-orientated tool that can help you improve the performance of individuals on your team. In adopting a coaching approach, you are more likely to achieve high levels of both employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

For more information about how to become a coaching manager, see Coaching for High Performance – How to develop exceptional results through coaching by Sarah Cook, published by IT Governance