Coaching is a fundamental practice and an effective tool which assists in enhancing overall performance of an individual. Also, it helps personnel to develop capabilities for getting engaged with people and processes in an effective and efficient manner within an organisational context (Beattie and et. al., 2014). When this practice is used widely throughout a company for improving the supervision and management qualities of managers and leaders, it can lead to a much more enhanced manner of operations in an enterprise. Nowadays, many large scale business organisations are opting for coaching so that the activities and procedures of company can be handled adequately. This report is based upon the experience of a coach while giving coaching to managers and leaders in General Motors. It is a well renowned automotive company involved in manufacturing of vehicles and its parts and is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, United States. This report takes into account situations in which directive and non-directive end of coaching spectrum can be adopted. Also, it includes critical analysis of skills like listening, questioning and playing back. Further, the evolution of coaching practice is discussed along with steps for further development to continue as a coach.
1) In your own practice as a coach or as a line manager, in what situations will you choose to operate towards the directive end of the coaching spectrum and in what situations will you choose to operate at the non-directive end?
Coaching is a practice through which the potential of a person is developed and enhanced so as to maximise their performance at workstation. It is a process of making them learn about the procedures, methodologies and techniques in a practical manner rather than teaching them. Coaching is a phenomenon which when implemented within an organisational context helps in increasing the overall productivity of various individuals in an entity (de Haan and et. al., 2013). This implies overall enhancement of organisational productivity. It is a significant practice by which companies tend to create an effective and sustainable change in the existing methods and techniques being used by personnel so as to increase the pace of operations and achieve the organisational goals and objectives within a timely manner. Coaching is a more developed form of teaching and training practice which is generally executed within a company with the sole motive to motivate and equip personnel with ways to complete tasks in an effective manner.
In today's competitive and fast changing world, there are many such organisations which have started realising the importance of this practice. The leaders and managers in these organisations are making use of lessons provided by coach to develop their existing skills and competence so as to stay ahead of its competitors in this strategic corporate world. This helps them in becoming more efficient in understanding the operations, processes and methodologies used within organisational context (Dolores Vidal-Salazar, Ferrón-Vílchez and Cordón-Pozo, 2012). By themselves becoming technically viable, these managers and leaders can then lead the personnel present within the enterprise towards completion of goal. Also, when leaders possess technical knowledge about procedures, they can easily direct the behaviour of employees towards the right way of doing things. This will result in timely completion of goals and objectives of company without compromising with quality of products and services.
In the present scenario, I am providing coaching to leaders and manager of manufacturing unit of General Motors. The major objective of mine is to equip them with technical skills, competence and knowledge so as to make them capable of handling software engineers and other technicians which are involved in manufacturing of vehicles and other parts. The coaching sessions that I render within production unit of entity are all about the in-depth study of manufacturing processes and techniques that are used by company. I give minute details to managing body of company about the technical skills and provide them knowledge about various software and program that are utilised by engineers while developing cars. Also, my lessons are in relation to the ways in which technicians engaged in manufacturing unit can analyse the modifications that are required by customers to be brought in already designed and developed parts. These skills can then help them in bringing changes in vehicles so as to meet the demands along with taste and preferences of consumers. Also, my coaching can assist managers in effectively bringing about changes or innovations in existing ways and techniques of carrying out tasks if it seems to them that such developments or modifications can yield desired results.
There are various approaches that are utilised by coaches so as to inspire, guide, motivate, train, encourage and develop their coachees. The approach which is adopted by coach while imparting knowledge about any subject matter to clients is selected after consideration of a number of aspects. Such aspects are behavioural traits and characteristics of pupil along with their personalities, objective of giving coaching and challenges which can appear in front of coach. The development of coaching session lie in between the two ends of spectrum called directive and non-directive coaching (Fillery-Travis and Lane. 2014).
Directive Coaching (Push)
This type of coaching is focused upon the process where coach solves the problems of pupil for them. It is usually related to practices like instructing, showing, telling, doing. This approach is closely associated with making the coachee understand, comprehend, perceive and demonstrate a new skill or way of carrying out thing so that pupil can replicate the same. In relation to my coaching session at General Motors, it is required by me to make use of directive style in certain situations. Such scenarios are briefly described below:-
When team members are not much technically viable: As General Motors is a company which is operating at a global level, thus it is highly required by me as a coach that the coaching I impart to personnel is capable of creating effective leaders and managers. In this relation, directive style of leadership is used when the coachees are semi-skilled or not technically as much viable as the requirement demands. GM is engaged in production of vehicles by aid of high end technology and automation, thus, I use directive approach to demonstrate and illustrate ways in which manufacturing processes can be carried out in an effective manner. Also, this assists me in rendering adequate knowledge about the technology and processes used within organisational context to leaders and managers such that they can become technically viable leaders (Gatling, 2014).
When there is an emergency situation: It is often required by me to use directive coaching while providing knowledge and competence to personnel in relation to emergency conditions. General Motors being a company having its presence across the world, there are times when there are unfavourable or emergency situations like sudden upsurge in demand, unfavourable weather conditions, non feasibility of technology required in manufacturing of vehicles. Thus, in such scenarios, it is required by leaders and managers to effectively lead the team for dealing with such situation. In this context, directive coaching assists me as using this, I can instruct managers in regards to the steps that can be adopted in such situations.
When coach wants rules to be followed: In any large scale company that is globally present and is one of the leading enterprises within industry, it is highly essential that all the procedures and techniques adopted are in accordance with statutory as well as organisational requirements and guidelines. In this relation, General Motors is also one of such companies and thus, using directive coaching for imparting knowledge to coachees assists me in two folded ways. One is by inculcating those skills in leaders and managers of company that helps them in aligning the behaviour of employees towards organisational goals, second is making them capable enough to lead a group of technical personnel (Hunt and Weintraub, 2016).
Non-Directive Coaching (Pull)
This style of coaching is associated with providing coachees the opportunity to develop their own ways and methods to deal with a problem. It involves processes wherein coach provides supervision, mentoring, guidance and listening ear to pupil. Unlike directive style of coaching, here only the counselling or direction is provided by coaches but the same is executed by leaders and managers themselves only (Joo, Sushko and McLean, 2012). There are various scenarios in context of General Motors where I have to make use of non-directive style to effectively equip managing body with skills to deal with complex situations. Such scenarios are briefly summarised below:-
When decisions are not to be taken urgently: Non-directive coaching helps me in imparting guidance and mentoring in relation to situations where decisions are not needed to be taken in a hurry. Here, by providing knowledge to management personnel of GM, I help them in making their mind in relation to such situations where necessary action is not be taken instantly. Non-directive coaching is time consuming and thus not suitable where immediate actions are required.
Where creativity and innovation is necessary: This type of coaching is suitable for me to be used in context of production units of General Motors often as being a global company, it is required to bring rapid innovations in its processes and techniques to meet never ending demands. Using non-directive coaching to impart skills and knowledge for leaders and managers assist in the way that it can encourage development of unique and creative ideas for enhancing organisational performance under guidance of coach.
When more than one solution is required for problems: Many a times, problems arise in manufacturing unit of General Motors in relation to technical or production issues while designing and developing vehicles and its parts. In such times, by using non-directive style of coaching, I give lessons and supervision to managers and leaders to come up with more than one solution to adverse situations so that out of these, most effective method of operating can be used.
2) Critically appraise your skills - particularly your skills in listening, questioning and playing back and your confidence as a coach
Drawing upon the feedback from my practical corporate clients like General Motors and colleagues, I have analysed that I am specifically good at three skills that are key to my profession of imparting professional business coaching. Such skills are:-
Active listening is an essential skill that is required to be present in coaches so as to effectively impart training and knowledge to pupil along with hearing their problems and grievances (Joseph, 2016). It has been observed by me that I am a good listener as I provide ears to what my clients want to convey and deliver or their issues. This helps me in creatively rendering information and knowledge that assist my clients to tackle with complex scenarios within organisational context. I have often received positive feedback from clients in many contexts. These are no interruption from my side while clients are vocal about their views, no sudden change in subject while having communication with them, no half-listening, no monopolising or hypocritical conversation. I have also evaluated that my belief is 'listening for' and not 'listening to', this can be in relation to;
- listening for determining goals and aspirations of coachees
- listening for real life stories of pupil and organisation
- listening for emotional scenarios
- listening for readiness to act upon
Effective questioning skills is another key factor for becoming an efficient business coach and impart knowledge to my clients in context of corporate world and specific industry to which client business belongs to (Joseph, 2016). It has been evaluated from my coaching experience and feedback from my colleagues that I often keep asking questions from my clients so as to keep them engaged and interested in the subject matter of my coaching. Raising questions while providing coaching helps in collecting information of clients in relation to various aspects. Gaining facts and feelings of my corporate clients by asking them various sorts of questions like open, specific, hypothetical, closed or reflective helps me in accurately collecting data about various business entities.
Effective playing back skills refer to the process in which coach effectively give responses to clients so that they are satisfied with my mentoring and coaching (Joseph, 2016). Drawing from feedback from my colleagues and my personal observation, it has been evaluated that I respond in a positive manner while communicating with pupil which makes them satisfied. Thus, this helps in building healthy relationship within corporate world for a long duration of time.
Other than this, my colleagues and business clients like General Motors often praise me for the confidence that I possess in my abilities as a coach. I have observed that I am a highly dedicated and motivated individual who believes in imparting knowledge in a practical manner rather than conventional way of theoretical learning and training practice.
3) How has your view of coaching and your own practice evolved over the course of the module?
Over the course of practice as a coach, my view and teaching have evolved in various ways. During my journey as a coach who imparts knowledge to clients about organisational context and corporate world, my memory skills have enhanced and now I am able to recall things for a longer duration of time. Also, this practice has largely helped me in creating and building relationship with business entities in an effective manner so that they can stay for a long time in marketplace. Besides this, this profession has assisted me in developing my skills as a guide and supervisor who provides advice to clients in relation to administrative and financial matters which gives business personnel and organisations a strategic edge in industry.
While being a business coach, I have developed 3 principles that guides and motivates my way of giving coaching sessions to my clients. My first principle throughout my journey and for future contexts also is 'caring about pupil and giving full investment in client learning'. This reflects that I show eagerness in rendering knowledge about subject matter and thus, I show up early at workplace. Also, I am readily available at possible timings for any confusions or issues that my clients have during their tenure of taking coaching from me. Furthermore, I convey my interest and enthusiasm by way of my body language, inflexions in voice, gestures and other non verbal ways. My basic moto during this is aimed at professional development of my clients.
My second principle is 'empowering clients by respecting their view, opinions and suggestions'. In the very beginning of my coaching sessions, I determine my inner goal while imparting knowledge. During the execution of this practice, I focus upon engaging the clients by building effective communication with them and keeping them involved throughout by asking them various types of questions. This assists me in significantly delivering the required knowledge along with gaining satisfaction and acceptability from clients.
Overall, it has been evaluated that I have evolved a lot during the journey of being a coach. Also, this has developed a sense of formal code of conduct and practice in me. Along with this, I have learnt the way to communicate effectively with business personnel and at the same time ensuring that I don't seen under confident while interacting with clients.
4) What are the next steps you will take to continue your development as a coach? What specifically will you do to further this development?
During my journey as a coach till now, I have evolved in a number of ways already specified. It is highly required by me to continue with developing my skills and competence as a coach so that I can impart quality knowledge to my clients and help them in leading the organisation towards strategic edge over competitive businesses within same industry. There are various ways in which I can develop myself as a coach by taking classes where coaches are trained. Along with this, I can visit various workshops where coaches are being trained. Besides this, it would also help me to inculcate skills which are required by for a successful coach. I can also read books in which leadership methods are given so that I can direct my employees to delivering effective performance. Moreover, I can also attend various seminars in which different types of coaches are present to observe their actions and learn from them. Also, I can actively listen to pupil so that I can remain focused towards other pupil perceptions so that I can concentrate on my work. To develop myself as a coach, I should be curious about understanding behaviour of my business professionals and collaborating as well as coordinating with them. This would largely assist me in developing my career as a coach and build healthy relationship with clients within corporate world.
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From the above report, it has been concluded that coaching is an effective or strategical tool used by business entities so as to stay ahead of its competitors in today's rapid and fast evolving world. Also, it has been analysed that there are two styles of coaching that are generally utilised by coaches during their professional career, namely, directive and non directive ends of spectrum. Besides this, it has been evaluated that there are various situations in which coaches make use of these ways of coaching which have to be significantly considered by them. Furthermore, it has been assessed that there are various ways in which the career of a coach can be further developed like attending seminars, workshops and undergoing skill development classes and special trainings for becoming a coach.
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