Coaching for Best Practice

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One of the many joys that come from working as a Human Resources professional is learning how to stay open to opportunities that spur personal growth. Every day, the practice of Human Resources is a little bit different given the variety of connections and communications we have with others. Through these connections and contacts, we can make the choice to foster learning and improve our own HR practice by reflecting critically on our views and actions in interpersonal organizational behaviour.

How can we improve our own HR practice so that we can help improve the organizational practice of others?

The concepts embedded in coaching may provide us with some simple steps to include as part of our individual HR practices. In his article, Six Coaching Tips for Your Organization, Charles Qabazard outlines six techniques for effective coaching that translate directly to effective HR practices.

Click here to read the article.

In any organization, the Human Resources function involves listening, asking questions, focusing on solutions, goal orientation, cultural awareness and follow up. Each of these six techniques, on their own, seems pretty simple. When they are pulled together by the thoughtful HR professional, they become powerful coaching tools that elevate the credibility and the role of HR in any setting. In order to be an effective organizational coach for others, we need to ensure that our own coaching skills are in practice every day.

HR practice really does make HR perfect!

Discussion Questions:

  1. Of the six effective coaching techniques, which one is the most important to you?
  2. How does cultural awareness improve the practice of HR?
  3. How do you ensure that you are perceived as a credible professional?
  4. If you were to advise your current boss on these six techniques, which one would you emphasize for organizational improvement?

Measuring What is Needed

 

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The Human Resources professional’s role is not always in the organizational spotlight. That space is reserved for the organizational leader. Once in the spotlight, all of the characteristics of the leader are highlighted, from both a positive and a negative perspective. In either case, there is increased focus on the need for the leader to improve upon any perceived negative leadership traits in order to increase the level of positive leadership.

 

Where then should the focus be in order to support positive leadership development?

We need to let the statistics do the talking.

As noted in a recent article provided by the Society for Human Resource Management, there is an alarming rate of leadership development programs resulting in failure for the very leaders these programs are intended to assist.

Why? The statistics seem to indicate that the professional development being provided is not in line with the practical needs of the leader. What is needed by the leader is not what is evaluated by the organization. Evaluation comes with measuring real results and adjusting the organizational course when it is clear that those results do not meet organizational needs.

Click here to read the article.

The article raises an important distinction between ‘edu-trainment’ and true learning based on objective measures for the development of sustainable leadership capabilities. The Human Resources role is integral in maintaining learning programs where results are intentional, observable and measurable, ensuring the right kind of leadership development programs for all leadership roles within the organization.

As Human Resources professionals, we have the capacity to observe what is needed outside of the glare of the spotlight. From that perspective, we can see what is real; where the problems are; discern the difference between insipid inspiration and true leadership competencies; and establish learning outcomes for leaders that are measurable and sustainable. The Human Resources professional has the capacity and the obligation to ensure that valid organizational metrics are established. These should evaluate leadership development through a direct connection to the performance of employees and the results of the organization that the leader serves.

Human Resources will have its time in the spotlight when it is needed. In the meantime, there is always leadership work to be designed and done.

Discussion Questions:

  1. From your reading of the article, why do you think the author recommends that we ‘stop chasing inspiration’ as part of leadership development?
  2. Identify five specific metrics that an organization should implement that measure leadership development and provide a connection to organizational impact.
  3. Do you agree that HR is able to design programs that leadership development in a positive way? Why or why not?

Executive Coaching – Benefit or Not?

Can executive coaching be an effective on-the-job development tool?  Yes!

Executive coaching has been around for a long time and is often used as an On-the-Job (OTJ) training and development method. Yet, many organizations have not taken the time to explore the executive coaching topic in great detail.

Let’s take a quick journey through the myths and research surrounding executive coaching. First, the myths. In the following article from Human Resources Director, Volume 3.04, they succinctly outline some coaching myths, including:

  • Coaching is for remedial help
  • Coaching is only for those that lack specific skills
  • To be a good executive coach, the coach had to be an executive

Click here to read the full article 

Because of the above myths, many executives see coaching as a weakness rather than a benefit. In reality, coaching can help them reach greater inner and outer potential.

Let’s add some research to the myth busting.  The Ivey Business Journal identified the benefits of executive coaching, as follows:

  • Continuous one-on-one attention
  • Expanded thinking through dialogue with a curious outsider
  • Self-awareness, including blind spots
  • Personal accountability for development
  • Just-in-time learning

Click here to read the full article

Two of my personal favourite benefits are, personal accountability, and just-in-time learning. Coaching can benefit all employees within an organization while greatly assisting some of the most expensive company assets – Executives.

The next time you receive push back when coaching is suggested, use the information in these two articles as positive ammunition for coaching.

Discussion Question

  1. You have been asked to develop a proposal to introduce an executive coaching program. What arguments will you present to get your organization to support this kind of training initiative?