Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Observation is Key to Coaching Excellence

Coaching is a goal-oriented process that is designed to help an individual accomplish more in a shorter period of time, raise the bar even higher than the client believes is possible, and more. Coaching is also used to help the client become more action and results-oriented. When performance is an issue, the coaching objective usually focuses on developing the appropriate behaviors and actions that lead to higher achievement. Coaching in the workplace is usually measured by behavioral change and improvement in the key competencies and skill sets that result in higher achievement or improved productivity.

As a coaching client, how can you expect to improve your goals and to see those type of results if I never leave my desk or put down the telephone? I have been a certified Business Coach working with executives, managers, and employees in regard to performance and productivity for over ten years. It is impossible for me to measure results without viewing my client in the very environment that he or she is performing in. Observation is one of the most important ingredients in a successful coaching engagement, yet it is also one of the most difficult tasks.

Observation is most difficult because it is done through the coach’s eyes and my views on perceived right and wrong behavior. Sometimes coaches tend not to reinforce positive behavior to the individual and/or the team. We certainly do not emphasize an incident or behavioral display as an opportunity for growth. Most coaching engagements need the client to demonstrate a change in behavior, an action, or the enhancement of a skill set.

I find that observation can provide a candidate with the visual input that they tend not see themselves; their body language, use of the King’s English, tone, emphasis on words or terms, etc. Feedback on these behaviors can produce a positive performance and increase a person or team’s productivity. I like to observe these behaviors like my client speaking to individuals, groups and shareholders as well as in a meeting situation and more to give them input on behaviors that could mean success or failure.

Coaching at a higher level should help the client with their growth and development that will ultimately result in high achievement within the organization. I define perception as the view others have of me through their eyes and reality is view I get through the feedback from coach or manager. As a coach, I tell my clients not to hesitate to invite myself their work environment for observation and debriefing. Also, I make it clear that my client can request my attendance at any work event that might offer them an opportunity for some positive feedback from me, their coach. I encourage observation and use it as a coaching technique with all of my clients.

By: Richard Hohmann
Certified Business Coach
Vice President of Innovative Leadership of the Delaware Valley, LLC
Phone: 609.390.2830

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