We wrapped up our recent podcast series on coaching last week, posing the question ‘Can a manager be a coach?’ If you’re considering coaching for yourself or your organisation, this is a great place to start.
In this post, I look back on the series and signpost how we explored various important aspects of coaching. You’ll find the links to each episode in the series throughout the text. Alternatively, you can head to our podcast page and start with episode 90.
Why coaching? Why now?
I was keen to visit the topic of coaching in more detail than usual, and attempt to answer some of the frequently asked questions I receive about the topic. As a coaching psychologist, I often find that coaching is conflating with mentoring, counselling or even training. Yes, there’s some overlap, but it’s its own beast.
And as I was about to start two new large coaching programmes for clients, which always involve an introductory webinar for coachees, it was definitely front of mind for me.
Covering the basics
Over the course of the series, we looked at the essentials of coaching, exploring it as learning how to move from ‘stuck’ to ‘unstuck’. Academic definitions aside, I find this is the most useful way to explain it to prospective clients. It encapsulates the dynamic nature of coaching and hints at all the possibilities for change.
The next most important topic was to explore all the common coaching pitfalls that we can experience. I firmly believe that forewarned is forearmed, and if we can be more aware of some of the ways coaching progress is derailed, we can watch out for them.
Exploring coaching themes
We also looked at how coaching can be helpful when exploring the themes of productivity, wellbeing and interpersonal effectiveness. These are the three core areas I work in as a coaching psychologist and it was really great to examine how coaching addresses each.
While the effectiveness theme is one that people often visualise when thinking about how coaching works, they’re often surprised that I address the topics of wellbeing and productivity. However, they’re definitely linked. For a start, it’s difficult to be effective at work when your wellbeing is compromised. And it’s difficult to be productive if you’re neglecting the interpersonal aspects of work.
Using coaching intentionally
If there’s one over-arching point I’d like to hammer home about coaching, it’s this: it’s a great tool for development, but it’s not a panacea. Don’t assume coaching can address all the challenges you or your organisation face. Use it with intent and where it can have the most positive impact.
And of course, if you’re considering coaching – for yourself or your organisation – please get in touch with your questions. We’d love to hear from you.
We publish an episode of ‘My Pocket Psych’ every two weeks and we cover a range of topics about the psychology of the workplace. You can find it on all major podcast platforms or stream it directly from our podcast page.