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COACH’S CORNER: Making Coaching Stick

April 26, 2016

Sustainability is key with any new initiative, and we all know how hard it is to make change stick in this fast-paced environment. There is a constant pull to revert to “the “way we’ve always done it.” This pull requires a vigilant opposing strategy fueled by leaders committed to championing the change.

In the next PHI Webinar for Coaching Trainers, which will be held on May 17, we’ll feature some great sustainability strategies for making coaching stick. We’ve seen some really creative ideas developed by our clients in order to ensure PHI Coaching Supervision and PHI Coaching Communication skills become the normative way of communicating in the workplace.

Let’s take a look at some great ideas from Westminster Canterbury in Lynchburg, Virginia. Sue Ellen Clark, one of our coach educators and internal change champion, recently decorated the classroom with a “Coaching Madness” theme (left), a spoof off the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament. Employees who were coming into the classroom (also a recreation room) were surrounded by reminders and visual tips to use their PHI Coaching skills. The set-up even included a basketball net donned with ribbons naming the Coaching skills that students could shoot basketballs at! To top off her creativity, Sue Ellen wrapped water bottles and snacks with Coaching-related quotes and cartoons. The reminders were everywhere, and they were fun!

Boosters are another really important way to keep the coaching skills fresh. Boosters can be done in a wide variety of ways, from brief huddles to longer in-services. It’s a good idea to widen the teaching when it comes to boosters, and invite others who are excelling at modeling the skills to help out. Topics include things like active listening, paraphrasing, pulling back, and providing feedback, and should include skill practice whenever possible. Some of the most impactful boosters are short and fun. We’ve seen Coaching game boards, Coaching bingo, e-mail blasts, and posters all aimed at boosting the use of the skills.

Finally, it is important to incorporate Coaching into an organization’s accountability systems. This includes things like including Coaching in the new employee orientation process, in annual performance reviews, and in the formal discipline systems. While all of these should be done in a manner that models Coaching, they are an important indicator that Coaching is not optional — it is expected.

If you are already a PHI Coaching trainer, we hope you’ll join us for the webinar on making Coaching stick. We also hope you’ll reach out to us and share your great ideas so we can keep spreading your best practices throughout the PHI Coaching Approach community.

— by Susan Misiorski, PHI National Director of Coaching & Consulting Services

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