This year, your staff could probably use some support seeing things differently. If you have not considered coaching as a tool for managing change in your organization, perhaps now is the time. Here’s how coaching works and some unique considerations for the post pandemic 2021 workplace.
Coaching: the process
A variety of coaching models exist. However, most coaches move through the following process with their clients: agreement, assessment, action, and accountability.
Agreement. During this first stage of the coaching relationship, clients set goals for their coaching engagement, typically with input from a manager or other organizational stakeholder who is overseeing the coaching experience. Together, coaches and clients create objectives and a plan for achieving them. Meeting details are determined, and a timeline established.
Assessment. Increasing self-awareness is one of the most important outcomes of the coaching process. A self-evaluation helps to raise one’s awareness about the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors they presently hold and may choose to change. A 360-degree assessment is especially effective because it collects feedback from direct reports, peers, and supervisors to ensure others’ perceptions are incorporated in this overall picture.
Action. At this stage, a coach helps the client move from where they are to where they want to go. Awareness grows to action through questioning and active listening techniques. Clients gain clarity by focusing on changing one way of thinking, one ingrained bias, or one habitual behavior at a time. Then, they make intentional choices to change these old patterns for new ones.
Accountability. No coaching engagement is successful without ongoing follow-up. This final stage evaluates whether the client met their goals and develops a plan for sustainability after the program ends. Another 360-degree assessment may be part of the post-coaching process, to determine how the client changed and whether additional coaching is needed.
Coaching: what’s new
Like many organizational development practices, coaching has experienced a shift due to the implications of COVID-19. The following trends are defining coaching in a post-pandemic workplace.
The human connection. People still want to interact with other people, and perhaps now more than ever before, due to isolation and pared down interpersonal relationships during quarantine. While the rise of AI and automation continue to change the job landscape, computers and robots are not expected to replace humans as coaches, according to the International Coach Federation.
The move to virtual. 2020 taught us that many of our organizational activities are more efficient when done virtually. Coaching is no different. Likewise, virtual coaching reduces costs associated with travel and staff resources. Finally, the ability to scale a coaching program increases dramatically when even a portion of it is completed remotely.
The tools for new capabilities. In an ever-changing workplace, employees are becoming infinite learners. Organizations will be more focused on developing people who have the skillset to thrive through ongoing disruption. Coaching creates resilient individuals who have growth mindsets and a willingness to embrace what’s next.
Toward a coaching culture
Coaching is most effective when it contributes to an overall culture of learning, one that is focused on people, planning, process, and performance improvement. You can maximize coaching in your organization by making it part of your overall strategy for 2021. Brighter Strategies partners with nonprofit, for-profit, and government organizations to increase capacity through coaching. Learn more today.