What is High Performance Coaching?

I am very excited to be starting my third course at Athabasca University named “Coaching for High Performance”.   I hope to be able to share some of the insights that I learn during this course with all of you.

The book we are using during our studies is “The heart of coaching” by Thomas G. Crane.  Check out the book here:

The description of the course is as follows:

“New pressures on leaders today compel them to create conditions that engender high performance. To this end, leaders are expected to display attributes such as courage, character, and commitment from the “inside out,” and they are expected to create cultures of high performance that move well beyond the command and control style. Coaching is part of this movement. However, effective coaching requires specific skills to help improve the performance of oneself and others. Coaching begins on the inside, as a coach must harness his or her own motivations, sense of purpose, belief in possibilities, sense of meaning, and ability to change. Leaders who coach others build supportive relationships, communicate, and provide feedback that coachees can hear and apply. The end goal is to enable others to become more effective.” – Athabasca University Website

Why should we learn to coach?

In our day and age we are all working at a high pace and rarely take the time to build strong relationships by truly listening to others.  If we want to empower others to grow and become better at what they do we need to learn to support them along the journey.  Coaching is not about telling people how to do things.  It is all about asking the right questions and having the patience to listen and support them while they find their own answers.

We often expect a training session to do the trick when it comes to learning something new.  Without coaching after the training occurs the benefits of that training will become futile.

Coaching is not easy and requires a lot of energy but it is energy that is very well spent.

The definition of transformational coaching is:

“The art of assisting people enhance their effectiveness, in a way they feel helped” -Thomas G. Crane.

Traditional Supervising vs Coaching:

Traditional supervising and managing consists mostly of telling people what to do, checking in on them to ensure they are working on what they are supposed to and letting them know what could have been done better.

Coaching on the other hand is trusting that the majority of people have good intentions, want to succeed, does their best and wants to be valued.  There is a big difference in communication between coaching and supervising.  It’s all about helping the individual feel valued and empowered.  It’s being there during the journey to support them.

Who should we coach?

We should only coach people that we care about and want to see succeed.  As a leader I truly care for everyone that is part of my team and if they succeed it will only help everyone in the department find success.  We need to also ask the individuals if they are open to coaching.  If they are not ready and open to this it will be a failure.  Being clear about the purpose and what the coachee can expect is critical before beginning the coaching relationship.

“An authoritative leader states the end but generally gives people plenty of leeway to devise their own means. Authoritative leaders give people the freedom to innovate, experiment, and take calculated risks.” -Daniel Goodman

Have you had experience in coaching?  I would love to hear about it, please comment below.

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