Preparation is all about attending to detail; this includes administration and the practicalities of delivery.
The agreement should provide evidence that you have the approvals required to conduct coaching. For example, both you and the coachee may need to seek approval and support from managers to devote your time to the coaching relationship. As a courtesy you should also seek approval from anyone directly affected if you are conducting the coaching in a team environment. In many cases you will also need approval to use locations or resources within the workplace.
Approvals both formal and informal
Investigate and identify the approvals you would need to seek before conducting coaching in your workplace.
Consider the structure of your organisation and find out exactly who needs to approve your participation in coaching, the coachee’s participation and the use of resources. Identify the people or the positions and the appropriate procedures to follow.
In large organisations there may be formal procedures to be followed for coaching. The human resource department may even be responsible for coordinating coaching. They will be able to inform both the coach and the coachee of any procedures that need to be followed, particularly if the coachee’s development is to be recognised as training.
To maximise learning, try to schedule coaching sessions for times that suit the coachee. Aim for a time when they are at their best: not rushed, tired, overworked, or unable to concentrate.
There is no standard or recommended duration for a coaching session. This will largely be determined by content once you consider the size and complexity of the tasks to be undertaken. Small tasks may be covered in short segments during the working day, whereas more challenging tasks may demand longer blocks of uninterrupted practice time.
Find out if there are policies, procedures or agreements that will have an impact on the coaching you plan to conduct.
Contact your organisation’s human resource department and ask them to make you aware of any policies or procedures you need to take into account when planning and conducting coaching in your workplace. Ask them also to consider any agreements that may impact on the time, location or content of coaching sessions conducted with employees.
The location chosen for conducting coaching can impact on how effective it is. Consider carefully how conducive the environment is to learning, taking into account comfort and potential distractions. Plan how you will eliminate unnecessary interruptions and take steps to set the space up to meet the requirements of the coaching session.
Sometimes the simplest things can interfere with our concentration and capacity to learn. This task will help you produce a checklist of factors you need to consider when choosing and setting up a coaching environment.
Comfort and consideration