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PHI Coaching Approach®

We help shift communications norms and embed coaching skills throughout an organization.

We work with long-term care providers to ensure that respect, empowerment, and teamwork are central to their workplace culture—and the PHI Coaching Approach®, which helps shift organizational norms around communication, is an integral component of that process. We also embed coaching skills throughout an organization, starting with senior leaders and supervisors and then the full staff.

We begin with organizational leaders, so that they are able to model the change they wish to see in the workplace and serve as a resource and champion throughout implementation. We then work with supervisors to transition from the traditional, punitive supervisory model to a relationship-centered approach. Through that approach, supervisors develop relationships with employees that allow them to support workers and grow their critical thinking skills, all while increasing accountability.

Finally, we bring the same core communication skills to frontline staff, in order to ensure that all team members are drawing upon the same language and tools in their daily work. This approach—its philosophy, framework, and methods—undergirds nearly all of PHI’s services for long-term care providers.

PHI Coaching Approach® to Communication

The PHI Coaching Approach® to Communication is a signature curriculum that builds essential communication and problem-solving skills through training and support. The goals of the training are to strengthen teams, build relational skills, improve problem solving, and grow respectful relationships, all with the intention of providing better quality care. Key skills include:

  • Active Listening: Participants become aware of how easy it is to “half listen,” and learn benefits of real listening and attentive body language.
  • Paraphrasing and Asking Clarifying Questions: Paraphrasing is particularly important to avoiding miscommunication, especially when communicating across differences, and asking questions deepens our understanding.
  • Pulling Back: Participants learn to become more conscious of the personal assumptions and biases that get in the way of active listening—and learn how to pull back in emotionally charged situations to avoid escalating a conflict.
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback: Feedback skills help staff learn strategies for effectively giving and receiving constructive feedback that’s free of blame or judgment, in a range of workplace situations.

Exploring, understanding, and integrating these core communication skills provide a strong foundation for delivering quality, relationship-centered care. The PHI Coaching Approach® to Communication also imparts a clear, step-by-step process for analyzing a problem and exploring various solutions, either individually or in teams.

Participants engage in exercises that apply critical thinking to common operational and caregiving issues. Using customized scenarios from the workplace, problems—and potential solutions—are explored from three primary perspectives: the impact on the individual receiving care, the impact on the employee, and the impact on the organization.

The PHI Coaching Approach® to Communication allows coworkers to develop a shared framework, common skill set, and shared language to improve teamwork and help create a more inclusive and relationship-centered culture. The curriculum is designed in a modular format, allowing training to be delivered in day-long workshops, two half-days, or in shorter in-service programs.

PHI Coaching Supervision®

PHI Coaching Supervision® offers an alternative to approaches to supervising direct care workers. PHI Coaching Supervision® helps managers and supervisors engage employees in solving work-related problems, empower workers to participate in decisions that impact their daily work, and balance support with accountability for high-quality outcomes.

Many supervisors in long-term care fields have learned an approach to supervision that does not provide tools to effectively support and retain direct care workers and other frontline employees. When implemented fully, PHI Coaching Supervision® results in increased worker satisfaction and retention as well as improved quality of care.

PHI offers a two-day seminar for supervisory staff, including nurse supervisors, department heads, home care managers, and service delivery coordinators. The goal of this introductory training is to strengthen the core communication skills that are essential to good supervision: active listening; self-management and self-reflection; and clear, non-judgmental communication. Supervisors who use the approach find that with clear communication, high expectations, and supportive problem solving, they can significantly reduce disciplinary actions and turnover among frontline workers while also improving relationships. Nurses and other managers are then able to reduce time spent handling complaints and daily operational issues. In turn, these outcomes contribute to better quality care and more satisfied clients.

Executive Coaching

All members of PHI’s Workforce Innovations team provide executive coaching to key leaders in our client organizations. Executive coaching is a powerful and entirely customized intervention that supports client leaders in honing their “signature strengths,” as well as in developing the new skills and competencies they need to help drive change in their organizations. Each client leader works with their individual PHI coach to articulate their unique goals and to customize the terms of the coaching engagement.

Key Takeaways

The PHI Coaching Approach® builds essential communication and problem-solving skills.
PHI Coaching Supervision® helps managers solve work-related problems and empower staff.
With proper coaching from PHI, long-term care leaders strengthen teams and improve care.

By the Numbers: PHI Coaching Approach®


Direct care workers trained in the PHI Coaching Approach®. Source: PHI, 2017


Percentage of home care workers in Chicago who were satisfied with PHI Coaching Approach to Communication® training in 2016. Source: PHI, 2017


Percentage of long-term care staff in Detroit who underwent PHI training in 2013 and now practice the PHI Coaching Approach to Communication®. Source: PHI, 2017

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