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ATD Blog

9 Steps to Make Coaching Work for You


Tue Dec 27 2016

9 Steps to Make Coaching Work for You

Coaching as a key learning and development solution has moved from being a fad to a fundamental need.

Senior management has realized this need and made the ability to coach and develop others a key aspect all managers should cultivate. Coaching is a potent tool that can drive wide-scale organizational change. A robust approach to coaching will make it more sustainable and scalable.


Well-intentioned coaching programs sometimes struggle to maintain momentum. Therefore, establishing a coaching culture requires a much more concentrated and integrated approach to make it coherent. We have implemented coaching as a key component of our learning solutions. We are able to sustain our program through using nine simple rules to ensure that coaching works for us.

Rule 1: Build the Coaching Relationship

Coaching is a trust-based relationship. It is needed to establish effective boundaries by being clear about the desired game plan. Additionally, showing good cognitive skills is important to develop the relationship. 

Rule 2: Establish a Well-Defined and Time-Bound Direction

Having a clear and well-defined direction ensures that all stakeholders involved are focused on the same end result and work within the stipulated timelines. 

Rule 3: Enroll the Coachee

It is important to enroll the coachee, gain his commitment, and make him accountable to the coach and the process. The coachee needs to help define strict timelines. 

Rule 4: Help Identify Challenges and Early Success Factors

The coach should help the coachee identify early success factors so that she can get the much needed confidence by working on them. Similarly, identifying challenges will also help the coachee traverse them successfully. 


Rule 5: Conduct a Critical First Review

Coaches act as a catalyst. In this change process, the first review meeting is of utmost importance, because it helps define the pace of the momentum for the rest of the relationship. The coach will help review the progress and initiatives undertaken by the coachee for the first time and help the coachee gain maximum benefit from the process. 

Rule 6: Conduct Continual Reviews

It is important that there are ongoing reviews to keep track of the coaching relationship’s progress. 

Rule 7: Celebrate Mlestones

Celebrate the accomplishments and milestones to reinforce expected behaviors so that they serve as a motivator for future learning. 

Rule 8: Define a “Finish Line” for Closure

A finish line makes the process time bound and effective. It will also help to make the coachee more accountable. 

Rule 9: Create Sustainability

Although we create the initiative to be time-bound and specific, it is important for the coach to stay available after the formal end of the program. This will help sustain the initiative in the long run.


Want to learn more? Join me at the ATD 2017 India Summit in Mumbai on January 17, 2017, or Bangalore on January 19, 2017.

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