Many of my clients are at the point of developing their coaching skills where they are asking "Who sets the agenda?" and "How and when would I start to use these techniques?"
I would like to consider these questions here.
Many managers struggle with the idea that the coachee should set the agenda and define what they want help with and the form that help should take. They are uneasy with the notion of handing over control when they feel responsible for improving the performance of different people in areas they judge as important.
In reality, this loss of control does not occur. Managers do set the main agenda because they determine priorities and key objectives. But when it comes to coaching people to improve their performance and reach their goals managers need to allow them to set their own agenda to achieve those goals. Experience shows that this produces the best results.
The benefits of adding coaching to other management skills are indisputable if managers wish to improve the performance of their team and the overall organisation. Coaching is not difficult but like every other skill, it improves with practice. The best coaches have spent - and continue to spend - a lot of time practising. But the question remains: how and when to start?
The following suggestions may be helpful:
For almost any issue at work (or in life!) coaching can be used to get things moving and develop people in the process. This makes demands more manageable and thus will relieve stress.