Here are some tips for the coachee to maximise the potential of being coached by your line manager:
- Acknowledge the coach’s potential to help: Everyone likes to feel useful and wanted. Making this explicit raises the boss’s sense of the value of spending time coaching you.
- See the coaching session as an opportunity to enhance the quality of the relationship between you: In building understanding about the issues under discussion, it frequently happens that coach and coachee will build their understanding of each other.
- Clarify what kind of help you want/need: if you say; “I have a problem” you’ll generally receive a directive response; if you say; “I’d like to test my thinking on this” the response may be more simulative.
- Prepare to be coached: The harder the coach has to work to extract the facts and understand the issues, the more time and mental effort will be required. Make it easy as easy as possible by preparing well.
- Give good warning: If you spring the issue on the coach, he or she will have to act more or less off the cuff. If you give him or her time to reflect on how they are going to help, you’ll often receive a much higher quality response.
- Co-operate in the coaching process: the better you understand what the coach is trying to do, the easier it is to assist him or her in making it happen. The more the coaching process is co-managed, rather than coach-driven, the easier it is.
- Make clear commitments of what you intend to do as a result of the coaching dialogue: One of the strongest motivators for a coach is seeing that the coachee has come to some firm decisions about what to do, how and when. It provides clear evidence that the process has worked and we have an innate instinct to return to strategies that deliver.
- Keep the coach informed of progress: Even if the coach does not ask how you are getting on, it will maintain his or her motivation, if he or she knows you are making progress. It may also stimulate him or her to keep thinking about the issue, so that when you return for a further coaching session, his or her own reflections have moved on, too.
© David Clutterbuck. All rights reserved