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The effective coach – a diagnostic activity


TrainingZONE Library author Andrew Gibbons has produced a range of best-selling materials on mentoring, learning and development within organisations. With a whole new package of materials on empowerment and customer service coming shortly, this diagnostic activity, which can be used in a variety of situations, gives a special taster of what's on offer.

Read the following statements describing specific coaching competences, and answer as best you can, on the basis of how you think you approach the role of a coach.

Tick or cross each statement - tick = true of you, cross = not.

1. I show I listen to the whole issue before commenting.

2. I give advice appropriately, and can judge when it’s best for the learner to make the decisions.

3. I feel comfortable when not as technically skilled as those I am coaching.

4. I always question thoroughly to get to, and work upon the issues of most concern to a learner.

5. I can coach positively and effectively people I don’t get on with, or with whom I have ‘tensions’.

6. I have a good range of networks and contacts that can be used appropriately to help a leaner.

7. I know well the barriers and obstacles to acquiring and applying learning to the workplace.

8. I know what I am talking about - I am good at my own job.

9. I can work positively with people of all types and persuasions – I am free of bias and prejudice.

10. I can concentrate upon the specific issues a learner is focused upon, without being distracted.

11. I Don’t get irritated by a learner who doesn’t get the point quickly.

12. I understand that people learn in different ways, and at different rates.

13. I am encouraging – I am able to motivate a learner.

14. I am always well prepared in advance for a coaching session.

15. I am a positive role model in terms of my own achievements – I am credible as a coach.

16. I can help a learner believe in their potential.

17. I can identify very specific issues on which to focus a coaching session most meaningfully.

18. I know when to introduce options and ideas and when it is best to keep these to myself.

19. I can challenge assumptions skilfully, and without discouraging a learner.

20. I can explain complex things in terms a learner can truly understand.

21. I am keen to learn more about coaching and learning issues to maintain my own development.

22. I can help a learner clarify their specific learning aims and objectives.

23. I can suppress my feelings of irritation or annoyance, so there is no outward sign of these.

24. I can make an accurate assessment of a learners’ progress and feed this back positively.

25. I can find the right questions to ask in order to explore and enhance learning.

26. I can praise directly, specifically, and in a way that really encourages a learner.

27. I am very knowledgeable about developmental issues.

28. I am tolerant, and patient with people.

29. I don’t expect a learner to be like me.

30. I am perceptive, and can read non-verbal signals and cues accurately.

31. I can give feedback directly and skilfully.

32. I can allow a learner the freedom and confidence to make mistakes, and to learn from these.

33. I can demonstrate and explain how to accomplish tasks and develop skills.

34. I can accurately identify a learners’ specific development needs.

35. I can judge when enough evidence of competence has been shown to indicate achievement.

36. I can assess and judge capability of learners, and bring them on at a pace that is sustainable.

37. I take into account the work environment and its impact on a learner I am coaching.

38. I am able to spot and make good use of opportunities for development within real work situations.

39. I take an interest in the individual learner - I value their views and what they say.

40. I am clear about specific objectives of a coaching session – in terms of what will be done better.

41. I recognise that coaching doesn’t have to be a managerial function.

42. I know when to be directive and intervene with ideas, and when to let a learner find their own way.

43. I really believe in the value of development.

44. I can avoid the temptation to direct conversation back to myself, my issues and experiences.

45. I can challenge constructively and directly to get to the heart of the matter.

46. I won’t just tell a learner what they want to hear.

47. I never appear keen to get a coaching meeting over with and move on to the next thing.

48. I get real satisfaction from seeing the positive effects of my efforts to help people learn.

49. I have a genuine desire to empower – I like to see people able to do more for themselves.

50. I can help learners apply their learning to the workplace, whilst ensuring they manage this process.

If you're interested in receiving details of Andrew Gibbons' new materials, e-mail us to be notified when they're published.


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