Safety coaching and mentoring – process or relationship? Pt2

Unless you’ve experienced coaching with a bona fide qualified coach, it’s possible you don’t appreciate it for what it really is. Coaching is more than demonstrating an ability you have to others. Much more. The deceptively simple framework of the GROW Model¹ gives it the appearance of a step-by-step process suggesting that working through its four stages alone is all that’s required to achieve the coachee’s goals. Its uncomplicated form and the outstanding results it can achieve are the reasons why the GROW Model is as popular as it is and why it forms the basis of coaching in many organisations worldwide. But as those that have experienced coaching will know, it can be altogether deeper and more subtly complex than this process-view implies. Read...

Safety coaching and mentoring – process or relationship?

Coaching and mentoring, once the preserve of executives and bright young things on a fast-track to the top, are increasingly becoming a standard feature of corporate life. Additionally, the ability to coach and mentor is more and more being seen as an essential management skill. So what happens during coaching exactly? Coaching situations arise in different ways. In formal executive and management coaching situations where an external coach or coaching organisation is involved, there may be pre-contracting and contracting stages before actual coaching sessions commence. These preliminary stages are where agreements are made about the purpose and objectives of the coaching programme and the specific arrangements for individual sessions. Such formal coaching is still rare for safety practitioners. Nevertheless, coaching opportunities arise on an almost daily-basis. Here are some typical scenarios. Read...

Safety coaching and mentoring – they may not be what you think they are

I’m not the only safety practitioner to have characterised himself as a coach and mentor – plenty do. For me, having to develop and support a team of safety competent people – people positioned around an organisation each with a high degree of local process-knowledge and influence – in order that they might coordinate and manage safety initiatives on my behalf, was the reason I began to regard what I did as a practitioner, as ‘coaching’. Having recruited several practitioners, and therefore having interviewed dozens, I know that this is a common interpretation of what coaching is amongst safety people – being able to do something well and instructing others in it and demonstrating to them how it’s done – much as a swimming instructor does at the local pool. But as important as these skills are, they’re not coaching skills. Read...