Benefits of Coaching

Chances are that real coaching is going to be relatively new to you. Learning a new skill always takes effort, and coaching is significantly different from traditional concepts of management. Learning to do it can be a challenge. Developing new skills is easier when you know the benefits you'll see from them — it helps you keep your motivation boosted.

What Team Members Get

Which is better, having someone take you out for a fish dinner, or learning how to cook fish? Frankly, each has something to be said for it. Getting the fish dinner is convenient. You save money and the time and effort in preparing a meal, and chances are that the cook is experienced, which means that the food should be tasty. But then you go home without any idea of how to prepare fish on your own. Even if the restaurant experience is good, it is short lived.

But how often do people take you out? Dining in restaurants every night is expensive, and you never get the satisfaction of being able to prepare a dish on your own. When you do learn, though, you have a feeling of accomplishment, and you are no longer dependent. You also begin to develop the ability to deal with change. It doesn't matter if the restaurant is open at a particular hour, or if they've dropped your favorite trout preparation from the menu. You can make fish yourself when and where you want, substitute ingredients if necessary, and otherwise take control of what you need to do, no matter how circumstances change.

Team members who receive coaching to nurture their talents and improve their capabilities receive enormous satisfaction and confidence from the process. That also increases the meaning they find in what they do, which means higher motivation.

What the Leader Gets

If coaching offers satisfaction to the team member, it adds fulfillment to the experience of the leader. Helping people to become better than they were and to reach more of their potential is a wonderful experience. You have taken responsibility and left part of you with the people in question, literally making a mark on the world and leaving it a better place. There are few experiences in the world that leave you feeling more at peace with your actions.

From another practical view, coaching saves time in the long run. The less often someone asks you to solve a problem or make an adjustment, the more time you have to do what it is you should be doing. Additionally, solving a problem after the fact takes more time and other resources than anticipating the problem and making corrections before a situation gets out of hand. It's more efficient for the leader and is thus an excellent investment of time and effort.

What the Organization Gets

It is a natural assumption that when individuals and leaders benefit, so does the organization. By helping team members learn to perform better, no matter what the conditions, you also, logically, help the goals of your organization and group. Activities can only get better when all the people involved are smarter and more effective in their efforts. When people can solve problems themselves, they can head off disaster before it strikes.

In short, coaching helps team members improve what they do, helps make them independent, and brings forth sources of creativity and energy. That makes the entire organization smarter and more effective. It's a win-win-win situation.

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