Coaching is a powerful tool that creates space to develop strengths, identify personal and professional goals, and be accountable for reaching those goals. Coaching is led by curiosity and starts with the premise that the coachee is already a whole person who holds the answers they need. The coach is a partner who asks powerful questions and holds the coachee accountable for decisions made in coaching sessions.

Many companies and individuals choose to work with a professional coach, like me. When looking for a coach, check that your coach is trained in and subscribes to the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Code of Ethics. An ICF certified coach has gone through at least 60 hours of ICF-approved training, completed at least 100 hours of direct coaching, and successfully completed the ICF assessment. They also participate in continuing professional development to hone their skills and learn from the latest research.

Coaching can be integrated as part of a healthy workplace culture, in which leaders use a coach approach with their staff. Coaching at work bolsters skills and keeps employees and managers in a growth mindset. Harvard Business Review states that a coach approach “can make [leaders] psychologically uncomfortable, because it deprives them of their most familiar management tool: asserting their authority.” Coaching may take longer and be harder than simply directing, but the returns are great for both the manager and the employee: higher employee performance, retention, and satisfaction. Benefits of coaching in the workplace include personal and professional growth, clearer vision, increased self-confidence, enhanced self-awareness, improved problem analysis, maximized potential – this list goes on.

Coaching starts with powerful questions. Powerful questions are open-ended, short, often start with “what,” and are intended to expand thinking. When coaching, managers are facilitators for problem-solving. Coaching asserts that the coachee possesses the answers that will move them forward; they only need to be asked the right questions.

At the Chamber’s Issues and Eggs on August 2, I’ll offer an interactive presentation on using the coach approach at work, and I hope you’ll join me. Register here.