Opinion: Coaching your peers

by Heather Jane18 May 2015

Imagine how great it would be to have someone supporting you during those bad days, when things are not going so well at work and in the classroom.

Someone who could put themselves in your shoes, give you their undivided attention and listen to how you are feeling without judgment.

A person who recognises your strengths and encourages you to find a way forward in order to resolve issues and make your work more enjoyable? 

It’d be great wouldn’t it?

Now imagine if you could also give this to your colleagues.

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them” wrote performance guru, John Whitmore.

The skill of coaching is something that allows you to do this. It is recognised as one of the most effective ways to bring out the best in people, develop talents and strengths and build skills and confidence in order to nurture learning.

It’s a powerful technique of listening and questioning that offers opportunities to talk about what has been learned and to apply learning in to action.

For example, the question ‘What strategy have you learned recently that might help you with this task/problem?’ is a great technique to ask your colleagues and help them bring out their best.

The next time your peers ask you ‘Have you got a minute?’ Why not try the simple coaching GROW model I have highlighted below. Using this methodology, rather than solving a problem for them, you can empower them to find a solution to their problem, challenge or situation.

G is for Goal
R is for reality
O is for options
W is for Way Forward

Always remember that coaching is about the coachee finding their own answers and your role is simply to ask the questions and step back. 

Here are some great coaching questions you could ask:

G - What would you like to achieve?
R - What is happening now?
O - What options do you have to move just one step forward?
W - What will you actually do?
 
This open style questioning and listening allows your peers to clearly understand their situation and come up with a way forward that works for them. In doing this, they will find clarity and also claim ownership of the next step to take.
     
A sense of control is also created which positively effects empowerment and confidence.
 
Stacey Ashley provides accredited training and coaching throughout the Education and Corporate Industry. For more information see http://www.ashleyconsulting.com.au/
 
 
 

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