Coaching – A Workplace Advantage for the Coachee and the Coach (Ripple)

2 females in relaxed atmosphere having a conversation

by Stephen Hobbs

Every person has an ‘educator within’.

Why is that true?… because of this saying ‘when you listen you learn, when you share you educate.’ That is, when you share your thoughts as ideas, display a behaviour or offer up an opinion, you are educating others about you, the topic, and/or about them.

A Spark of Insight

Later in my 22 summers as a white water rafting guide and trip leader it became clear that to organize a new crew for an afternoon, day or two days of rafting, nine educator approaches were used.

They are grouped in a three by three pattern. They are:

(1) consultant, instructor, and trainer = teach on the reach – they apply when you first start the trip

(2) counsellor, shifter and coach = guide on the ride – after the first 30 minutes once everyone is settling into the activity, and people want to learn to “steer” the raft and/or take on fun challenges

(3) mentor, facilitator, and minstrel = sage off the page – are present during the longer trips when conversations turn to self-awareness with questions as prompted by the activity and location

Each approach deserves its own article. And over the months to follow, additional insights about the 9 educating approaches are to be published.

In this article the selected educating approach is ‘coach.’


When you are coached, you enter into a guided relationship. Through this relationship, as a coachee you are urged to fulfil what you agreed to do. The coach encourages the most from you without actually doing whatever needs to be done. The coach stimulates your confidence so you give your best performance.

If you say something like, “I think I know it. It’s just, I’m not sure I can do it alone,” there exists the possibility for coaching.

Think back on your life and you will see coaches.

  • How about your mother, father, brother, or sister who helped you learn to ride your bike?
  • Then there was that special lifeguard who urged you to swim lengths of the outdoor pool on that cool summer morning,
  • The sports coach who asked for a little more at the end of the game,
  • And how about your work mate who helped you get ready for your job interview?

Connecting with the Workplace

Consider the workplace is becoming more complex for managers and leaders. And so, going it alone is not a wise decision. With the need to know a lot more about a lot more things, it is helpful to have someone journey with you. It is helpful to have access to a coach.

Depending on your needs you can select one or more coaches from several types of coaching approaches including succession, executive, performance, knowledge, skill, professional, business, and life coaches.

Even more important is to realize when and how you coach. (Remember when you share you educate… and when you lead you coach).

Both being coached and coaching are within you. Therefore, as you read on, think about being the person coached. Then circle back, and reread the article as someone who can coach. If you have a journal handy, record your thoughts and decide on the appropriate action to take.

Selecting a Coach

In selecting a coach, ask your potential coach to share a self-assessment of his/her knowledge and skills to provide structure, listen actively, ask questions, make suggestions, and give feedback. Listen to what the coach says and determine if there is a fit. Where you feel and think there is a mismatch, address it in the interview. Like any big purchase, you may have to shop around.

Concerns with Coaching

Because of the growth of the coaching industry, you may find coaches who hinder more than help you. These pretenders unfortunately weaken the good work legitimate coaches provide.

To separate the good from the great, check the coach’s credentials, talk to someone s/he has coached, and thoroughly interview the coach. Remember-your life may depend on making a great decision through your coach’s encouragement.

When you interview coaches, ask what interventions they use. Great coaches use multiple interventions to support your needs for the situation.

Some coaches may coach the way they were coached. Unfortunately, they may be wearing blinders without realizing it. Because it worked for them does not mean it will work for you. A great coach can see the centre and the periphery of what is happening and offer encouragement that is best for you.

Upside of Coaching

A coach can be a wonderful resource in helping sort the NEWS from the Noise. For one thing, the coach does not hear the same noise as you do and can encourage you to express the news.

Also, one of the great things about coaching is the ‘Pay Forward’ system is at work. Just as you benefit, others benefit because you are doing great work. And the coach is better prepared to support others because of her/his wonderful coaching experience with you.

Finding a Coach

Where do you find a coach? The Internet offers personal and small company coaching websites to roam. There are many Internet-supported coaching schools and associations that list their graduates. Friends and work colleagues may suggest someone they know. Within your company’s Human Resources Department there may be a list of recommended coaches who have worked with your company before.

Take heed of the suggestions above in selecting your coach.

Summary Thought

Earlier, I suggested that you read this article as someone who is being coached. Now, reread this article as if you are someone who is coaching.

Whether as a coach or coachee record your thoughts and feelings. Because at some point you will coach or be coached. The more insights you gather about being a great coach or coachee will assist the relationship you sustain.

About the author

Coaching is one of nine educating approaches you can use to manage-lead your staff. To learn more about each one visit [] You’ll get Free Instant Access to the Preface, Chapter 1 and a related article from the book Help Them Help YOU Manage-Lead.

Brought to you by Stephen Hobbs – Master Educator in Creating Tomorrow’s Workplace Today through managing & leading organizational culture with mentoring and coaching []