Coaching vs Counselling?
Many individuals within organisations are given leadership responsibilities within their roles. Great leaders set themselves apart in numerous ways, one of which is knowing when to coach and when to counsel their team members to better performance. Each practise possesses its own effectiveness when applied, but identifying if a team member requires coaching or counselling is one of the greatest skills a leader will need to develop.
Coaching is one of the best ways a manager can put leadership into action and achieve results from their team. One of the best qualities in a leader is their ability to vigorously pursue talent development and have direct contact with people throughout the company at all levels. By doing this, leaders facilitate team members learning, and enhance their ability to hold individuals accountable to the tasks they deem important to the team’s success.
Coaching is a process that requires guidelines, examples, role plays, pre-briefings and debriefings by the manager to train and orientate an individual’s skills that require development. It can take the form of informal or formal training such as company workshops or enrolling team members into professional development courses. The cornerstone of great coaching is creating an environment whereby individuals are given the opportunity to learn. An ideal coaching approach involves four phases:
- determining development areas
- previewing implementation strategies for improvement
- have team member attempt discussed implementation strategies
- debrief implementation
Counselling is a similar practise that requires support, encouragement, questioning and listening from leaders to help an individual define and work through personal problems or organisational changes which affect job motivation or performance. Rather than a team member needing to develop a skill set, a situation may require the removal of any barriers to allow for optimum work performance or skills to flourish. The ability to listen to team members will allow you to identify team members concerns and begin to remove them for their skills to be surfaced.
Barriers to job performance may include a lack of motivation or the needs for certain ‘atmospheric conditions’. Motivation strategies can involve;
- Creating challenging jobs which build satisfaction, enjoyment and self-motivation
- Offering praise in public, and counselling for poor performers in private
- Encouraging employees to be involved in goal setting
Atmospheric needs relates to the nature of an individual’s work environment. Usually, an organisation wonders, 'will the candidate fit in with us?' rather than 'are we right for the candidate?’ If a manager's atmospheric needs are not accommodated by their employer, their ability to demonstrate their knowledge and skill potential will be significantly subdued. As a result, self-motivation and performance will suffer.
Coaching and counselling practises are great tools that leaders can utilise when developing team members. Understanding when to coach and when to council can be identified through deciding whether it is a team members skill and ability that requires development, or external concerns that are stifling a team members ability to exhibit their skill potential. Understanding the benefits of, and the situations that require coaching and counselling is what sets the great leaders apart from the rest.
Feel free to contact us on (02) 8882 9694 if you require any assistance with your team’s performance