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Professor Jonathan Passmore


Senior Vice President of Coaching

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‘In the moment’ coaching: How can managers encourage it and what are the benefits?

Future-proof employees' careers by training managers to use this powerful coaching method
In the moment coaching

The number of available job vacancies now outstrips the number of unemployed people in the UK for the first time in history, according to ONS data. It’s a candidate’s market – those seeking a new role can afford to be much more selective in their choice of employer than they perhaps were in the past.

Businesses, on the other hand, are under increasing pressure to deliver an employee experience that is not only attractive for new candidates but supports the career progression of the existing workforce. And this is where developing a skill like 'in the moment' coaching can help.

Creating the right strategies 

Almost three-quarters (73%) of employees criticise their employer for a lack of learning and development opportunities. Employee experience is now about more than lavish offices and finishing early on a Friday – employees want their employers to invest in their personal development too.

'In the moment' coaching is a powerful tool to integrate into the employee experience

As such, businesses should consider designing concrete development strategies that respond to employees’ individual needs. 'In the moment' coaching is a powerful tool to integrate into the employee experience, offering a level of personalisation that rivals other learning and development solutions on the market. But how can managers reap the full rewards of coaching strategies within the flow of day-to-day work?

Why 'in the moment coaching' now?

In the contemporary era, coaching is generally conceptualised as a professional service delivered by a specialist organisation external to a business. When following this format, workplace coaching is a professional helping relationship whereby a licenced professional supports a coachee to achieve their goals through self-directed learning and development. 

Coaching as a service is a relatively new idea but coaching within the workplace certainly isn’t. In fact, some of the earliest articles that discuss coaching principles date back to the 1920s and 1930s. During this period, coaching wasn’t offered as a formalised service to employees, but rather formed part of the everyday management styles of leaders in a wide range of organisations.

Research shows that coaching skills were integral to day-to-day interactions between managers and their direct reports, which allowed them to have more fruitful and productive conversations.  

'In the moment' coaching aims helps team members develop existing talents, new skills, and grow in their professional development

Equipping managers to make a difference

Evidence shows that 'in the moment' coaching is a more efficient and effective learning tool than traditional instruction. Businesses with a strong coaching culture have a larger percentage of highly engaged employees than other organisations, which is crucial considering the current job market demand for a competitive employee experience.  

Whilst some managers may already be applying coaching tactics to their management style, there is always a benefit to honing these skills and developing an overall coaching culture within the organisation. Leaders can consider offering formal training to managers, offering further information on the benefits of coaching-driven management, and advising managers on the development of such a style.

Of course, using 'in the moment' coaching skills within management can only go so far; in order for coaching to sit at the heart of an organisation’s culture, leaders should consider partnering with a professional coaching service provider. 

What are the essential 'in the moment' coaching skills? 

In a practical sense, the skills required for more formalised coaching interventions can and have been replicated for over a century in conversations between managers and other members of staff. At its core, 'in the moment' coaching aims to help team members develop existing talents, learn new skills, and grow in their professional development.

These are all steps that any good manager should already be undertaking with their direct reports, especially within the context of delivering an excellent quality employee experience.

Diving deeper into coaching-specific skills, we can consider the exact procedures that coaches follow with coachees. Coaches act as a support mechanism for employees to define their objectives, consider how they can go about achieving these objectives, and then finalise how they will move forward.

Many managers may follow these steps in working with their employees already, without even realising that these skills are fundamentally grounded in coaching principles. Those who want to reap the full range of benefits associated with coaching-driven management should consider developing their use of 'in the moment' coaching principles further.  

Almost without exception, people are motivated to share their ideas and use their own problem-solving skills to create change

Futureproofing employees using 'in the moment' coaching

According to data from Gartner, the experience of the pandemic made 65% of people re-evaluate the role that work plays in their life. Employees are no longer content to simply fulfil their assigned hours – instead seeking a job that aligns with their broader values and lifelong goals. 

Almost without exception, people are motivated to share their ideas and use their own problem-solving skills to create change. 'In the moment' coaching encourages this kind of proactivity by enticing employees to build on their existing knowledge, leverage their strengths, and expand their personal commitment. Workplaces that prioritise such behaviours are those which deliver a stronger employee experience and an environment in which everyone can feel a sense of purpose in contributing to the business.

Interested in this topic? Read How to ask effective coaching questions.

Author Profile Picture
Professor Jonathan Passmore

Senior Vice President of Coaching

Read more from Professor Jonathan Passmore

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