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Coaching as a way to find solutions

Sometimes it happens that after the launch of a company and its successful operation, its managers get stuck with internal processes, or need to clean up in the company, or find new ways to motivate employees to higher achievements, but are not sure where to start. 

(Source: AP/SITA)

These are examples of situations affecting, on a large scale, not only operation of a company, but also the quality of its managers’ life: a time when coaching can be a way to help them to help themselves.

Coaching, while this word comes from sports where the coach assists individuals as well as teams to increase performance and achieve new goals, is a process in which the coach asks the individual well-formulated questions and helps in finding answers. The strongest aspect of coaching is that the individual  is finding answers to his or her own questions. Simultaneously it is perceived as a managerial approach and style of management where the manager himself becomes the coach of employees. 

Slovak managers and coaching

Coaching in Slovakia is quite young, but it is developing dynamically. In 2005 the Slovak Association of Coaches was launched and in 2007 the launch of a local branch of the International Coaching Federation followed. Since that time the perception of coaching as a tool to achieve goals or increase performance in the Slovak business environment has improved. This is true also for local Slovak companies taht are beginning to use services of external professional coaches and afterward implement coaching as a managerial style of leadership. Compared with foreign companies, local companies lag in the use of coaching, but the situation is improving.

How it works

Individual coaching providing one-on-one custom leadership development is a very discreet process and thus meetings take place in an environment suitable for the coach as well as the manager. At the first, also called ‘zero’ meeting, the coach and the person get acquainted with each other while the coach should be likeable to establish a basic level of trust. Then the main goal is set. The number of following meetings depends on the nature of the goal, but usually these are three to 10 meetings. On average one such meeting lasts one to three hours while the frequency is also individual but usually it is one or two meetings per month.

Helping oneself

An advanced stage is when a manager, after learning what professionally-led coaching is and knows the style and value of questions asked, can also use so-called self-coaching. This is a process when the manager analyses the situation of importance, and on this basis is able to ask questions, thus instigating the search for deeper answers leading to solutions of problems. But during self-coaching the patience and willingness to answer questions in-depth and detailed is necessary.

For self-coaching the GROW method is suitable, within which the manager asks these questions: G stands for the goal to achieve, R for current reality, O for opportunity or option which the manager has for solving the problem and reaching the goal and W for willingness/when/who/what, and time and tools that can be used.

Finding A proper coach

The market offers a ranking of professional coaches but the best source is a reference. Managers looking for a coach should ask and meet with potential coaches and they should pay attention not only to how they perceive the coach, but especially what are offered results and recommendations.

Mária Rusková is managing partner of Quick‘n‘Smart Solutions

Topic: Career and HR


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