Successful athletes obviously understand the power of coaching. The United Kingdom Coaching Strategy describes the role of the sports coach as one that “enables the athlete to achieve levels of performance to a degree that may not have been possible if left to his/her own endeavours.

The same can be just as important to our industry  –  hospitality

In an increasingly competitive workplace every business faces the same vital question : how to get the best out of our people and maximise performance?

According to CIPD’s 2014 Learning and Development study 78 per cent of organisations intended to carry out leadership development coaching in the next 12 months in order to change behaviour or organisational culture, as well as develop high-potential individuals.

What is coaching? 

Coaching supports individuals to maximise their potential.

It helps them to understand where they are now, where they want to go and how to get there. Coaching is a conduit for change and action. It empowers individuals to seize responsibility and develop their personal skills by committing to specific measurable steps  which support their career development.

Coaching is aimed at developing people’s softer skills such as self-awareness, empathy and interpersonal skills, which are deemed as just as important for today’s leaders as good business acumen.

Establishing an effective coaching programme will empower, motivate and strengthen the team while also embedding a culture of learning and professional development.

Coaching is flexible. It can take place at all levels of an organisation, in response to the needs of the business. Common areas covered include time management, conflict resolution, giving feedback and leading team meetings.

Coaching can also be invaluable when an individual moves from one role to another, takes on more responsibility, or needs support to enable him or her to get the most out of a wider team of colleagues.

A business with a strong coaching culture will achieve more through its people.

 The value of coaching.  Coaching can:

  • Develop, encourage and release the potential from within us
  • Help us focus on the future rather than the past; on what can be done rather than what has been done
  • Stop us focusing on what’s wrong and instead develop new behaviours which over time can be more dominant and influence change
  • Help us develop self-awareness and resourcefulness, building self-confidence to achieve more
  • Encourage us to take responsibility and commit to taking action
  • Be a catalyst for change
  • Enable us to consider various options, to try different approaches in the way we behave or do something
  • Offer quality time and space where we’re listened to and understood.

Starting the coaching process :

The GROW model is an effective and widely used framework in coaching. The framework consist of 4 stages  –


What are you wanting to achieve?

  • Identify and agree an area which needs to be developed in order to benefit the individual and the business.
  • Agree a concrete goal or objective. Once articulated, this goal will serve as a yardstick against which to measure progress and a target at which to aim. In order to inspire, a goal has to focus on the future rather than dwell on the past, and it must stretch and challenge while remaining realistic.
  • If a goal is unrealistic, it will lead to a loss of hope. If it isn’t challenging enough, it won’t provide sufficient motivation.


What is the current situation?

  • Once a goal has been agreed upon, ensure the person being coached has fully explained their current situation and how they feel about the areas being focused upon. Discover exactly what the opportunities are, what they feel is holding them back and what solutions have already been tried.
  • This stage of the coaching process should allow the person being coached invaluable time to reflect and space to think.
  • Listening is a vital part of successful coaching, but it is more complex and difficult than many people imagine. Understanding rather than just hearing is the key. Summarise what you think you’ve heard in order to confirm genuine understanding. Also try and discuss the things which aren’t being said, as well as those which are. 7 Steps to be a great listener


What can you do differently?

  • Once the current reality of the area being focused on is fully explored the next stage is challenge the thinking of the person being coached to explore and consider other options or a new approach to achieve their goal.
  • Open ended questions are more likely to lead to greater understanding. Questions framed WHEN, WHAT and WHO are more effective than those based around why and how. The latter may lead to the person being coached feeling challenged and adopting defensive, closed thought patterns.
  • Incisive and challenging questions will encourage the recipient to pause, reflect and examine their own thought patterns in a trans formative manner.
  • Utilise questioning and encouragement to guide the person being coached toward reconsidering the relevant issues and reviewing their options. Encourage them to ask what they could have done, what steps they’ve considered and what they need to do to achieve their stated goals. The fact that they come up with solutions, rather than having answers presented to them, creates a sense of ownership. Use your own experiences to mentor, offering support and advice without being overly judgemental or directive.


When and how are you going to do it?

  • Having been presented with options by the person being coached, review them, and set concrete actions designed to achieve the agreed goal. Gain commitment on WHEN and HOW these actions will be met, and insist on highly specific answers. If needed, create a challenge by asking what could get in the way of the actions being performed, and discuss relevant solutions to these hurdles.
  • Set up a firm follow up and review process. A good coach will be patient, offer support, listen and build a trusting relationship. The end result of all of this will be to maximise the potential and achievement of the person being coached.