Coaching and Mentoring Team Members

On 24 May, 2018 in Training by Aaron Goode

Coaching is the process of learning from experience. It is based upon self-awareness, planning plus self-assessment, which is stimulated and supported by the coach. Coaching helps people follow policies and procedures, understand the requirements of their job and set objectives after their performance review.

It is important to understand the role of coaching and mentoring. Developing a framework will help achieve this. This framework should include a job description that outlines expectations of the role, policies and procedures and the legislative requirements which are the boundaries for us as employers. This leads to the question, when is it appropriate to coach? The answer is three fold.

Firstly, when there are new employees, you need to show that person how to do the best in your practice. This includes demonstrating the practice culture, how to interact with people around them and the practical functions of their job.  No one is more motivated than a new employee.

Secondly, when employees want to develop themselves they seek opportunities within the practice. However, they sometimes struggle with certain aspects of their job that do not come naturally to them.

Thirdly, and most importantly, when employees display performance problems. This occurs when they are not performing tasks we want them to do or displaying behaviours we don’t want them to display. This includes gossiping, becoming easily distracted or not getting along with fellow employees.

Coaching becomes important when learning about a new skill, technique or way of doing things. It is not just moving people into a new skill, but having them stop and think what they are doing and why are they doing it. In setting the scene, we need to establish boundaries, more specifically what are the coaches’ responsibilities and what are the learners.

A coaches responsibilities include developing a one on one partnership with the learner and creating an environment of trust and support. Be supportive through open, honest communication by providing artful feedback that is firm, fair and factual plus initiate learning through self-discovery and seeking other supportive resources outside the coaching structure.

A learner’s responsibilities include being motivated and willing to learn by changing themselves through pushing outside their comfort zone. By recognising the areas they need to improve on, learners can take responsibility for their own learning and development by asking questions, listening plus accepting feedback by realising it is valuable. Coaching is about fostering a learner’s growth.

Many coaches must set the right example for the people that they are mentoring. A coach or mentor must have the passion for developing other people, wanting people to succeed and being part of the learning process.

Coaches must have certain skills or attributes in processing, listening and giving people constructive feedback. Being attentive and having the full attention of the learner, tuning into their body language or tone and providing concrete examples for people to understand are some of these skills.

In utilising the 5 step process for coaching and mentoring team members, it allows any coach to meet the expectations or what the learner requires. The steps are as follows.

  1. Establish the current competency or need
  2. Agree to goals and boundaries
  3. Provide opportunities to learn and talk
  4. Set regular review points
  5. Recap and set new goals

By understanding the responsibilities not only of a coach but a learner also, employees in the practice can achieve their goals. This, in-turn benefits the practice in terms of their performance outcomes.

For more tips in this area, undertake our online course ‘Coaching and mentoring team members’. Alternatively, contact Crampton Consulting Group on (07) 2621 6005 or send us an email on ccgenquiries@provet.com.au.