Coaching for safety
Once the preserve of executives and senior managers, coaching is fast becoming a standard feature of corporate life and the ability to coach is increasingly being seen as an essential management skill.
Leading safety professionals too advocate a coaching approach. They emphasise the importance of collaboration and balancing technical knowledge with complementary communication skills.
Safety people know about the law and the standards that need to be achieved and how others have solved problems. This is the greater knowledge and understanding they bring to a conversation and they are prized for this – only safety people know this stuff.
But supporting managers and others requires more than technical capability alone. Helping colleagues explore problems and find the best solutions requires curiosity, skillful questioning and advanced, active listening skills – all attributes of a great coach.
If you believe, as we do, that the role of an OSH practitioner is to support managers and help them to exercise their responsibilities for health and safety – that’s why coaches exist, to be collaborative, supportive and helpful.
Whether safety is only a part of your role or you’re a full-time professional, the case for developing your coaching skills is obvious and compelling.