Coaching and Mentoring Skills
- Do you need to build high performance in your staff?
- Are you responsible for trainees or juniors in your organisation or profession?
- Are you or do you want to be part of an in-house coaching or mentoring scheme?
- Do you want to be able to support colleagues more skilfully?
- Do you need to foster independence and ownership in the people you work with?
Developing coaching and mentoring skills is probably the most valuable piece of learning a professional or executive can achieve if any of these are true for you.
Being able to use coaching and mentoring does not detract from or replace the need for your professional knowledge and skill. Quite the opposite. These additional skills can make you even more effective in what you do.
I work alone and with some outstanding colleagues in helping clients develop these skills.
- Based on the belief that fundamentally human beings are resourceful, able to identify goals and to find doable strategies to achieve those goals. Therefore any professional, manager or colleague working with them needs to see their role as an enabler of this inherent resourcefulness.
- Principles of solid learning theory: the only way to learn skills is to practice them. In my workshops, a typical approach will be to introduce an idea or technique, to demonstrate its use and then to allow participants to practice and receive feedback.
- My experience that so-called ‘soft’ skills of this kind are actually very hard. Conceptually they are quite simple, but to do them well is not easy, requires practice and needs perseverance.
The model of coaching I use takes elements from many areas:
Positive Psychology: in particular its emphasis on
- goal-setting (and the key factors in creating a powerful and usable goal for coaching have been well-researched)
- mindset – helping coachees to hold constructive ‘growth’ beliefs about their capacity to develop and grow
- strengths – that identifying and engaging a person’s innate strengths will be more likely to help them succeed than focussing on what de-motivates them or what they do badly
Situational coaching: any person in a professional or leadership role needs to be able to use a range of styles and to move flexibly between these styles. A broad coaching approach can underpin any style – even when telling is required – and is different from actual coaching. I help people learn both the broad approach and the specific coaching style.
Rogerian counselling: beginning any conversation with unconditional positive regard for a person, even when the coach needs to give them bad news or tough feedback
I have trained several thousand people in coaching skills over the past 15 years. Projects have included:
- Setting up a major coaching and mentoring service for doctors and dentists in London: 400 coaches have been trained so far and nearly 2,000 people have used this service
- Similar work with a body in the North of England
- Developing coaching skills at all levels to support enhanced leadership among the staff in a new Academy
- Coaching skills development for senior managers in a large retail chain to support culture change
- Coaching skills development for top managers in a development agency to support improved staff performance
- Helping set up a number of coaching and mentoring schemes for doctors in surgery, paediatrics, anaesthetics and general practice.
- Managerial coaching skills for top sports coaches