HR Forum

Responsibilities in coaching

Question: I do not mean to be arrogant, but I have been coaching since day one in my role as a manager in my organisation.

I do lots of things that move both my department and people forward. Isn’t this coaching that I have been doing all along? This is why I am kind of adverse to coaches who come around trying to sell us their coaching services.

They seldom get more than 15 minutes of my time before I politely tell them that I do not need them. This has been going on for the last two years or so.

Now, I want to revisit this as I feel sort of uneasy as to whether I am reading my own circumstances correctly or not in the context of the coaching work that I think I am doing (or not doing).

Answer: Perhaps this definition of coaching will shed some light on it: Coaching is that part of a relationship in which one person is primarily dedicated to serving the long term development of enhancing the effectiveness and self-improvement in the other person.

So, you probably need to ask how much time is devoted to this activity, which is done specifically for your people’s development on a long term basis.

As a manager, it is undeniable that you spend a great deal of time organising, budgeting, delegating and monitoring your staff’s work performance. However, that portion of work is not what we call coaching.

Coaching is where you sit down with a person or a small group of people to provide feedback, support them in problem solving, and challenge them to further grow their skills.

Special skills are required in this process. It is not about telling them what to do, or about ordering them around. It is about moving them to make both external changes in behaviour and internal changes in mindset.

So do you do these skills, and how good are you at it?

Powerful questions:

• Is developing your people a part of your value system?

• What do you want them to achieve in the longer term?

• What do you want to see yourself doing to support their growth?

• What commitment do you want to make in this?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with