Overview of Coaching Cyle

The basic component and steps are 

  1. Tell
  2. Show
  3. Practice
  4. Monitor and observe
  5. Provide Constructive Feedback.
The coaching cycle starts with telling what needs to be done, how it need to be done and why it needs to be done. This is knowledge transfer and can also be accomplished by utilizing the other knowledge sources discussed. 

Showing the individual how it should be done, in particularly relevant skills ( e.g preparing some database on computer) and is normally handled by the coach or an expert within the team although some demonstrations are also possible on training courses.

The next stage is for the individual to be provided with opportunity to practise, ideally lost of opportunity to practise. This practice to be monitored and observed by the coach and judgement need to be made as to the right time to make an intervention. The intervention requires the use of constructive feedback so that the individual learns from what they are doing right, what needs to be improved and how this needs to be improved.

As a result of the feedback intervention, the individual might need to be given additional knowledge, provide further demonstrations or most commonly, provided with additional opportunities to practice. The cycle then repeats itself until the person reaches a competency level. i.e some where close to level 3 competency. ) Where they can be allowed to practice independently. Once this level has been attained, the coach is able to adopt a supporting role by helping the individual when they encounter problems of unsafeness or complexity previously not experienced.

Suggestions on Feedback Discussion :
If a feedback discussion is going to be significant, perhaps covering a substantial piece of work, you should try using the AIDA Model to give your discussion structure.

  • A: Actions : What did you do ?
  • I : Impact : What happened as a result of those actions ?
  • D : Desired Outcome : How does that compare to what was supposed to happen
  • A : Actions : What do you need to do differently ?
Apart from helping to give some structure to feedback discussion, it also encourage most of the information to come from the person being coached. Your role as a coach is to facilitate the discussion and fill in the gaps when the trainee is not able to come up with their own answers or solutions.

Also Read : Learning Styles

What is the Best way to develop Staff ?

This brings us to a key point when considering how best to develop individuals withing your team. From the synopsis discussed earlier  of learning tools, it becomes clear that the only way an individual can become completely competent is on the job - applied practice in variety of live situations. There are several sources of knowledge - books, e leaning, internal documentation, industry seminar, team briefing and formal study. Uniquely among the tools external to team, training coerces are able to provide the source of knowledge as well as an environment for developing skills. However, the only place an individual can become completely competent is on the job, ideally in some from of coached environment.

On of the most troubling aspects of staff development that I management guru's regularly encounter is this. Manager conduct appraisals with their staff and discuss which areas of personal development are required for upcoming period. The manager then arranges for the staff member to attend a training course and once the course has been completed, the development area is then ticked off. These are not the actions of brilliant leaders.

It is possible for an individual to attend a training course, return to work, put into practice what they have learned  and subsequently become competent ? Sure it is , in just the same way that it is possible for an individual to read a book, undertake some e Learning program or read a procedure manual and then practice what they have learned in order to become competent.

Any knowledge source combined with practical application can potentially lead to full competency. But it is likely ? No, and more to the point, from the manager's perspective it is completely hit and miss.

Highlights : High performing teams usually have a coaching culture at their heart. It is not just the leader who can learn to coach but also more experienced team members. Invest time and effort in getting these key people up to speed as coaches and you will be well on your way to developing a coaching culture within your team.

Training courses and other knowledge sources can certainly be used as a part of the learning and development mix. Indeed, they help to make coaching more efficient and often a more enriching experience because people are not just gaining knowledge from their coach but also other expert sources. But the bottom line is this. The most efficient and effective method of improving competence withing a team usually involved a high proportion of coaching because not only does this enable all three key components(Knowledge, skills, and application) to be addressed but it also helps to ensure the right learning takes place at the right time.

The barrier to coaching : - 
  1. A lack of awareness of the above issues by the leader
  2. A lack of coaching skills
  3. A lack of time.
  4. A combination of all above.