Coach training: Tools for coaches

The case for adequate coach training is eloquently made in ‘Tools for Internal Coaches’ in your January issue of Training & Coaching Today. Few would disagree that tools alone do not make a coach. However, the value they can bring should not be overlooked.

Tools can help build a coach’s confidence, prompt coaches to explore ideas and gain insight in a way they might not otherwise and, crucially, may make a difference between a newly trained manager attempting to coach and giving up at the first hurdle.

However, there is a more significant role for tools that should not be ignored: most organisations are grooming managers to use coaching skills in everyday management, sometimes as a compromise to the ideal of dedicated coaching relationships, but almost always because this is seen as a valuable aim. Indeed, of the 70 organisations interviewed as part of my research in developing People-Assist (a coaching toolkit), only six had trained dedicated in-house coaches, or had any plans to do so.

The idea that all managers should be encouraged to take on a coach’s mindset was also overwhelmingly supported in a lively Association for Coaching debate last year.

Even where they have the will, many managers are prone to give up on trying to coach soon after training – a hesitation that quickly sets in when most struggle to put a coaching methodology into practice in a five-minute chat by the drinks machine.

Tools aren’t the panacea for making great coaches, but used properly and mixed with training and other support they can go a long way to helping any coaching initiative succeed.

Clive Johnson, director, Proactive Style

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