21 Sep

Everyone can benefit from Coaching in Education 

 From conversations with schools and colleges I am seeing the many benefits to being a part of a coaching process. 

The benefits of coaching are wide-ranging for students, teachers, managers and leaders. Using coaching language and engaging in the coaching process can positively impact on our careers/future careers, help develop a wide range of skills which benefits us on a professional and personal level. 

I have seen how coaching boosts confidence, improves work performance/outcomes and builds effective communication skills.  

 Leaders and Managers 

Leadership Style - Coaching directly impacts on how we as  leaders think about our leadership behaviours. It develops awareness of leadership styles and gives us the opportunity to reflect and be more thoughtful in our approach to tasks and goals. 

Relationship to Line Manager - Coaching helps explore the existing relationship with our line managers which has many benefits. Some of us are able to identify things we are not satisfied with within this relationship and change it. For others, coaching offers a place to explore what we are satisfied with and what within that relationship we value and find helpful. 

Relationship to Conflict - Many leaders find their relationship to conflict interesting and coaching enables us to explore the topic. Some leaders are comfortable with conflict and others feel that it is an area of concern. During coaching, many of us  discover that conflict is something we avoid. Coaching allows us to explore negative beliefs around conflict, to challenge and ultimately change them. 

Relationship to Power - Some female leaders reject the concept of power and have quite strongly negative feelings towards it. Coaching supports shifts in insight and perceptions around power and how it could be used. Through the process of coaching some views and thinking move towards seeing power as a positive and constructive force connected to strength and confidence with choice and influence over how it is used. 

Relationship to Personal Life - The coaching space offers  us as leaders the chance to explore and reflect on our work/life balance and our responsibilities including family. Coaching supports us in making links within work to parts of our lives outside of work adding a helpful holistic aspect to the work. Coaching in this way can help us find insights around how things in our lives connect.            

 Teachers & Students 

Here are 6 main benefits that coaching can bring to individuals in schools and colleges.

 1. Establish and act toward achieving goals Coaching gives us an opportunity to define our goals in a realistic way. With the assistance of a coach, we can set these goals and then actively work towards them. This will increase the likelihood that the goals will be achieved. It is common for goals to be centred around two aspects - building skill sets and our professional behaviour. These support  ongoing teacher development and also helps students  develop essential skills for life and working life.

2. Increased level of engagement Coaching engages participants with its unique one-on-one feedback and lots of encouragement. When we become engaged with our workplace, we can contribute more effectively to the team and the college. This engagement also helps to increase retention rates and productivity, benefiting the college but also our  own professional develop and students' future careers.

3. Safe Place to Gain Perspective Having a coach gives us a safe space to go and talk through sensitive issues. The coach is a third-party participant who  remains uninvolved but gives guidance and allows the coachee to gain perspective without feeling intimidated by hierarchy in the college. This is only made possible if there is a secure way for the coach and coachee to communicate. Using the safe place for encouragement and development is important for supporting wellbeing. It also allows for a more in-depth learning and higher levels of comfort with the skill. Once we are comfortable with our skills, we can begin to use them in our everyday lives and see the advantages  we gain from the coaching relationship. 

4. Deeper Level of Learning Coaching isn’t just about improving our skills in the workplace, it takes learning to an even deeper level. Through coaching, we can learn more about ourselves, find out how we are perceived by others, and improve on areas of our personalities that we are not satisfied with. Furthermore, coaching takes learning to a level beyond remembering and understanding. We can take the skills identified with our coach and apply them in new situations within a safe learning space. This is good for wellbeing and building resilience. 

5. Build Personal Awareness A coach helps guide the coachee to ideas for ways to improve themselves, but more importantly they can help them become aware of their blind spots. These blind sports are things we  may not see, but that need improvement. Once we are   aware of these areas, working with a coach helps us begin improving them. Through building personal awareness, we can turn their unknown weaknesses into useful strengths. This personal awareness is an important confidence booster for individuals and a great employability skill.

6. Support for Improving Specific Skills Having support for improving skills can be extremely beneficial. Just knowing someone is there specifically to help achieve our goals is an important part of progress within the coaching process. Skill building is often the focus of coaching relationships - these skills can include communication, delegation, conflict management, team building, and persuasion. Really useful at the moment to help close the skills gap. 

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