8 Reasons Why People Who Use Coaching Make Better Managers

Coaching can be a valuable and effective addition to anyone’s repertoire of skills. However, it can be particularly powerful when used by managers as part of a coaching style of management. Here’s 8 reasons why:

8 Reasons Why People Who Use Coaching Make Better Managers

Motivating The Team – Coaching involves helping other individuals to work through big decisions and issues. It helps them to come to resolutions on their own, that will motivate and inspire their future actions.


Managing Stress – The skills used by a good coach can also be applied to self-coaching. Managers who can effectively self-coach are better able to work through their own issues and decisions, helping them to greatly reduce their own stress. Being able to self-coach helps you to solve your own problems, rationalise more effectively and decrease your dependence on other people.


Higher Performance – The ability to coach and self-coach allows managers who utilise a coaching approach to gain consensus and reach decisions faster. This helps themselves and their team members to perform better and become more efficient.


More Effective Self-Evaluation – Coaching is all about asking the right questions, at the right time. This means that effective coaches are able to ask themselves the right questions when self-evaluating. They are great at identifying areas of strength and weakness, and then acting accordingly.


Making People Feel Included – Coaching is a very inclusive process, it’s all about helping the coachee reach a resolution on their own. Coaching your team members shows that you value and appreciate their contribution. The coachee feels that they’ve been included and that they are an important part of the decision.


Greater Respect From Subordinates – Effective coaches bring the best out of their team members, whilst making them feel great about themselves and their involvement. This results in their team members having a great deal of respect for them, and often means that they are willing to go the extra mile for that manager.


Managing Millennials – Millennials are becoming a greater portion of the workforce with every day that passes. They have been raised to believe they can achieve anything and are very goal driven. Coaching focuses on the goals or outcomes of the individual and the steps they can take to achieve them. This appeals to the millennial workers need to feel that they are moving towards their greater goal.


Building a Coaching Culture – Finally, managers who adopt a coaching approach often champion coaching within the organisation. They understand the benefits and are willing to help build a positive coaching culture within the organisation.



The OSCAR Coaching Model: Simplifying Workplace Coaching

The OSCAR coaching model (© Worthlearning 2002) builds on the highly effective GROW model and is quite simply a framework on which to hang your coaching questions. It provides you with a simple structure that helps to keep the coaching process focused, structured and time effective.

OSCAR Workplace Coaching

OSCAR Workplace Coaching

Outcome (your destination)

  • What is your long term outcome?
  • What would success look like?
  • What would you like to achieve from today’s session?

(This is where you clarify the outcomes around any given situation).

People with well-formed outcomes achieve much more than those without clear outcomes. Successful coaching sessions typically involve helping the coachee to develop a deeper understanding of the outcome they want. Our experience has shown that people are not used to thinking in terms of outcomes and therefore the initial outcome they present at the session has not got the clarity needed to become desirable and motivational. It is the skillful questioning of the coach that enables the coachee to develop a “well formed outcome”.


Situation (your starting point)

  •  What is the current situation?
  •  What’s actually happening?
  •  Describe the current situation

(This is where you get clarity around where you are right now).

Once the coachee has clarified and tightly defined their outcome the next step in the process is to clarify the current situation. In our experience most coaches, and managers as coaches in particular, spend too much time focusing on the current situation, thus allowing the coachee to get bogged down in the problem rather than focus on the outcome.


Choices and Consequences (your route options)

  •      What choices do you have?
  •      What options can you choose from?
  •      What are the consequences of each choice?
  •      Which choices have the best consequences?

(This is where you increase awareness about the consequences of each choice).

By using OSCAR the coach/manager encourages the team member to generate a number of options to choose from. The aim is to get the coachee to generate at least three choices. Having multiple choices raises awareness in the coachee that they do have control of their decision making i.e. the coachee is no longer able to say “I don’t have a choice” or “It’s all out of my control” or even, “I have to do this or that”. Using OSCAR enables the coach to put the control firmly back into the hands of the coachee.  


Action (your detailed plan)

(This is where you take responsibility for your own action plan).

Here the coach helps the coachee to formulate the:

  1. Specific actions they will take.
  2. When they will take those actions.
  3. On a scale of one to ten how willing they are to take them.
  4. Ongoing process of review.

It is vital that the coachee takes full responsibility for the actions to be taken. All of the actions must be time framed, measurable and reviewable.  


Review (making sure you are on track)

  •  What steps will you take to review your progress?
  •  When are we going to get together to review progress?
  •  Are the actions being taken?
  •  Are the actions moving you towards your outcome?

(This is where you continually check that you are on course).

When the coach and coachee agree to review the action plan, a subtle pressure is left with the coachee that the choice not to take the actions agreed is no longer an attractive choice. It is vital that the manager as coach ensures these reviews are held – otherwise a strong message is given out that the actions agreed are optional.


Remember.. Clarity is Power!!


Infographics: The Benefits of Coaching and Mentoring



The Benefits of Building a Coaching Culture in Your Organisation

Coaching has become increasingly popular in recent years. This is due greatly to the realisation by businesses that it can offer a great deal of reward, for a relatively small investment. It’s likely that your organisation already utilises coaching to some extent. Afterall, according to research conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management, 80% of organisations have used or are using coaching.

The Benefits of Building a Coaching Culture in Your Organisation

The Benefits of Building a Coaching Culture in Your Organisation

However, there’s a big difference between utilising coaching to some extent and building a coaching culture in an organisation. Coaching happens naturally within an organisation that has fully adopted a coaching culture. It contributes to building better leaders and managers, as well as improving employee engagement, both of which result in high-performing teams. Some other benefits that building a coaching culture can offer are:

  • Increased confidence
  • Improved self-awareness
  • Improved business knowledge and skills
  • Better communication
  • Better conflict resolution
  • More effective leaders and managers

With these benefits in mind, the big question is; how can you move from using coaching as a tool, to fully adopting a coaching culture in your organisation? We’ve put together a free eBook that addresses this topic; 4 Steps to Building a Coaching Culture in Your Organisation. You can download it by following the link below.

7 coaching techniques to show the coachee you’re listening

Listening is quite different from hearing.  When hearing another person, we know what they are saying.  With listening we not only really try and understand what the other person is saying, but perhaps why – we may even try to put ourselves in the other person’s place (empathy).

7 coaching techniques to show the coachee you're listening

Listening is a skill that takes some of us many years to develop.  The following are the ground-rules for effective listening.  Which of the following techniques do you use well and regularly?

  • I nod my head regularly when the other person is speaking to indicate that I am listening.
  • I use listening noises such as “mm”, “uh hu” or short words/phrases such as “I see”, “OK” frequently.
  • I sometimes repeat the exact words the other person says to indicate that I am listening.
  • I rephrase or paraphrase what the other person has said frequently to show that I have heard what was said.
  • I summarise in my own words what the other person has actually said to indicate that I have understood.
  • I summarise in my own words the feelings that the other person has expressed.
  • I have a “summary phrase” (e.g. “Let me see if I understand”) that I use regularly to keep me on track during a conversation.

The real skill here is doing these things whilst keeping the conversation feeling natural. Of course, this can only come with practice. So it’s worth practicing these techniques in more relaxed environments before using them in important conversations.


Infographic: 4 Steps to Building a Coaching Culture



Coaching and mentoring: What’s the difference?

Some of the latest thinking suggests there is little benefit in thinking of coaching and mentoring as being different from one another. A mentor will use a lot of coaching techniques. However, there is a different emphasis on the amount of ‘knowledge transferral’ and ‘direction’ that may be involved.



A coach does not, typically, need any knowledge of the subject being coached whilst the mentor uses their past experience and knowledge to help guide the person they are mentoring.


A manager can use a ‘coaching style’ with their team members. A coaching style of management is less directive and encourages team members to take responsibility for their own performance and professional effectiveness.


A mentoring relationship is usually longer term and is designed to help the person being mentored to capitalise on future opportunities or overcome past problems. The mentor will draw on past experience to pass on their knowledge and provide a degree of guidance in a particular direction.


Traditionally, you should not mentor someone you manage. The role of a mentor is to be a trusted guide; someone the person being mentored can turn to for advice and career guidance.


Both coaching and mentoring are proactive, and whilst more advice and guidance is usually given in the mentoring relationship, the techniques and approaches are very closely aligned.


How to use coaching to motivate ourselves and others

There is a theory developed by Victor Vroom (Expectancy Theory) and popularised by Anthony Robbins in his best selling book Unlimited Power. The theory predicts that all of our actions and behaviours will be driven by our desire to achieve pleasure or avoid pain and can be used as a powerful coaching tool. Furthermore, there is evidence that we will do far more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure!

How to use coaching to motivate ourselves and others

For example:

You know a task needs doing – but you know it will be painful to do it. So guess what…….the task stays on a “to do list” forever in the silent hope that it will go away over time! Then, all of a sudden, the pain of not doing the task becomes greater than doing it – and suddenly the task gets done! And there may even have been some pleasure in the accomplishment after all!

Because pain is the greater motivator of behaviour in the short term, if you want to make sure you take the actions needed to move you towards your goal then you must change what you link pain and pleasure to.

All of us (knowingly or unknowingly) weigh how much pleasure is involved against how much pain is involved before we make a decision. The brain literally says to itself:

  • How much pleasure will I get from taking this action?
  • How much pain will I get by taking this action?

Because the fear of pain usually outweighs the possibility of pleasure we end up not taking the action that our logic says we should!

Everyone wants to avoid pain, and our sub-consciousness tries to help us avoid pain. However, this often works against our best interests, so we have to raise our awareness to avoid being controlled by a subconscious fear of pain! We need to put ourselves back in control on a conscious level.

For example:

You know you have to revise for the exam in 2 months. You want the pleasure of the passing grade and the increased chances of finding a good job. But revising is painful – so you don’t do it until 2 days before the exam!

Why? Because at that point in time the pain of failure suddenly becomes greater than the pain of the revision!

What we need to do to increase motivation is consciously help our brain by:

  • Listing all the pleasure we will get from taking that action (e.g. Better job, more prospects, more choice and more money).
  • Listing all the pain we will get from NOT taking that action (e.g. No job, less prospects, less choice and less money).

We are driven to immediate action when:

All the pain we will avoid by taking that action + all the pleasure we will get from taking that action is greater than all the pain we will get by taking that action.

Ask yourself “what will I gain by taking that action, what will it cost me if I don’t take that action, what will it cost me now, in 3 months time and in 5 years time.”

By taking control of how our brain processes “pleasure and pain” you can propel yourself into taking action on a consistent basis, because your brain will focus on all the pleasure you will get and all the pain you will avoid by taking that action.

As a coach you need to raise awareness in the coachee of the pain that certain beliefs might be causing them, now and in the future. When the Coachee becomes aware of this pain they are then propelled to take responsibility to do something about it.

The Consequences step of OSCAR is an excellent place to discuss pleasure and pain e.g. What would be the upsides (pleasure) of that choice? What would be the downsides (pain) of that choice?

It is quite common for a coachee to ‘say’ they will take action – and then not take any action at all! It is therefore useful to explicitly raise awareness of the ‘pain’ that this might cause by asking the following question:

What will be the consequences of not taking action to resolve this issue?

This often leads to a realisation of the pain that this would cause – thus motivating the coachee to take action!

The Review step of OSCAR creates commitment to action by explicitly setting a date when actions will be reviewed and evaluated. This minimises circumstances where actions are agreed – but not followed through!

Building Rapport To Create Positive Relationships At Work

The importance of positive relationships at work

Having positive relationships with the people you work with is necessary for your overall happiness, your career success and the objectives of the business. The relationships you have with your co-workers can affect how satisfied you are with your job, improve your chances of advancing within the company, and have a positive impact on your overall well-being.

Building Rapport To Create Positive Relationships At Work

When you have successfully built positive relationships within your job, you feel more confident and comfortable in your interactions with colleagues. You become part of a high-performing team that values one another, rather than another individual looking out for themselves. Teams that are built on positive relationships will always outperform those that are not, giving everyone on the team a sense of accomplishment and community. These results in turn are recognised by the business and are likely to result in reward and promotion for those involved – everyone wins!

However, this isn’t necessarily as simple in practice, and everyone’s starting the process of building positive relationships from a different place. When attempting to build positive relationships a great number of people don’t know where to start, as it’s not necessarily a skill that comes naturally. Even the most outgoing, likeable people can improve their skills in this area. The good news is that wherever you are starting from there is one sure-fire way of making progress towards better relationships at work – building rapport.


How to start building rapport with co-workers

The first step to building a positive relationship is to build rapport, rapport is defined as “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well”. Rapport acts as a foundation for positive relationships and once you have it, you can build on it, making relationships stronger and even turning them into friendships.

Sometimes you can have an instant rapport with people, it’s the feeling when you seem to just ‘hit it off’ with somebody without having to try, this is often how friendships are built. This is usually because you have found some common ground early on, something you can both relate to and agree on, or perhaps get excited about. It could be a shared opinion, a hobby or supporting the same sports team, but whatever it is, it can provide you with a great foundation to build further rapport.

The question is, what do you do when you meet someone for the first time and you don’t have the natural chemistry that we just described? You can attempt to discover common ground, but there is only so far you can probe before the situation starts to feel awkward and forced. Instead, what you can do to start building rapport early on are techniques known as Mirroring and Matching.

Mirroring and Matching are techniques commonly used in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, as an interpersonal communication model. The model was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s and is based on the idea that people feel most comfortable and safe around those who are like them; they feel that their point of view is understood more by those similar to them. The more someone believes you are like them, the easier it is to develop rapport on an unconscious level.

Mirroring & Matching

When using Mirroring and Matching to help build rapport you need to use your observational skills to pick up on others emotional states and body language. There are 4 key techniques you can use:


1. Matching tone tempo

Listen to the tone of the other person, if they sound passionate about an issue then make sure you reply with a passionate tone, show them that you are interested and care about the issue too. If they are expressing anger don’t be scared to vent with them a little, obviously within reasons (e.g. vent about parking charges, but not a personal grievance with another team member).

You don’t need to match their tone exactly just enough for you to be understood. Your ‘mirrored’ voice should never be radically different from your own. To significantly alter your voice is very obvious and can even cause the person you are talking to, to think you are mocking them. Remember this a technique, not a trick, the goal is to show genuine empathy.

2. Matching movement rhythms

Matching movement rhythms, also known as crossover mirroring, is another effective matching technique. It is done by identifying a movement that the other person displays repeatedly and then matching it with a different movement of your own.

For example, if the person scratches their head you might tap a pen on the desk. Their movement is likely habitual, and by replying to their habitual action with one of your own, they subconsciously see you as less of a threat and feel safer to open up around you. The other person on a conscious level very rarely notices these actions, unless of course you make them too obvious.

3. Matching body posture

This is the easiest technique to perform, but is also the most obvious to the other person. When attempting to match body posture be sure not to match the person exactly, or with the same amount of emotion/effort that they are putting into the movement. If the person leans forward to illustrate a point that they are passionate about don’t jump instantly to attention, but naturally bring yourself into a similar position during the flow of the conversation. This demonstrates that you are engaged in the conversation and that you are both on the same page.

4. Matching representational systems

Richard Bandler and John Grinder discovered that trust in a relationship can be strengthened if you are able to match the individual’s primary representational system (PRS). The idea of PRS is that people memorise their experiences using internal representational systems or mind maps, which are then organised by sensory systems; visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Individuals tend to favor one sensory system and that favored system becomes their PRS.

People with the same PRS tend to trust one another more as they are able to express and communicate with each other easier and more fluidly. By matching the other persons PRS you are more likely to be perceived as a trustworthy individual and are more likely to build rapport with each other.

Building rapport in this way is just one of the many techniques that workplace coaches use to build better relationships, helping themselves and others to achieve their full potential.

You can download a free eBook below to learn more about workplace coaching and how it can help you build better relationships at work.


6 ways eLearning will give you a better ROI from your training budget

We all know that eLearning offers numerous benefits, but how does it effect the bottom-line?

6 ways eLearning will give you a better ROI from your training budget

Here’s a few statistics that highlight how eLearning will allow you to get the best return on investment from your training budget:

  1. Up to 60% increased knowledge retention – The nature of eLearning is that it’s repeatable and, if done correctly, it caters to all learning styles. This allows for much better knowledge retention rates from students, meaning that budget spent on eLearning actually provides a better return on investment. Couple this with the fact that eLearning is usually a lower cost alternative anyway, this point alone should be enough to warrant taking eLearning seriously when thinking about your training budget.
  2. £1 of eLearning spend = £30 of productivity – IBM estimated that every £1 they spent on best-practice eLearning results in £30 worth of productivity for the organisation.
  3. eLearning can boost productivity by up to 50% – Time spent in the classroom usually means a day or more away from the workplace. Online learning tends to come in bite-sized chunks that are much easier to fit in around a busy workload.
  4. 46% more likely to be an industry leader – Organisations are 46% more likely to be an industry leader if they use eLearning. Now it’s fair to say that organisations actively using eLearning are probably more innovative and thus more likely to be an industry leader, so this stat is certainly open for interpretation. However, if the most successful companies are making use of eLearning there’s a pretty clear message here!
  5. 26% more revenue generated – On average companies that use best-practice eLearning generate 26% more revenue – a great statistics for making a case to the CFO for eLearning!
  6. 34% more able to respond to customer needs – Organisations that use eLearning are 34% more able to respond to customer needs. Any company that puts importance on responding to customer needs (which should be every company!) will appreciate the importance of this statistic.

As always, we don’t see eLearning as some sort of training panacea but it certainly offers some enormous benefits whatever your budget might be. Whether your using eLearning stand-alone or as part of a blended experience, you’re definitely moving in the right direction.