Three approaches are commonly employed to develop staff: counselling, mentoring and coaching. Why opt for coaching?
Questions are powerful tools. The value of well framed questions is incredible. Good coaching is founded on appreciative, developmental questioning. The expertise of a good coach is in framing the right questions, unlike a good mentor who needs expertise on the subject matter.
Coaching questions cause us to stop and think. In doing that we begin to formulate answers that we believe in and that motivate us. The insights of a good mentor are restricted to the validity of their expertise in the subject matter. The insights generated by a good coach are sustained by us because we have created the responses and options.
A good coach is a peer, not a superior. The quality of their listening and questions empowers us to take responsibility for our own options and actions. In doing that coaching questions foster authentic leadership.
Perhaps Kipling encapsulated it best when he wrote -
'I keep six honest serving-men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What, Why and When,
And How and Where and Who.'