Importance of Coaching in the Project Management world as a Professional
“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” ― John Wooden
I often hear a lot of individuals boasting, I have been in this industry for decades, I don’t need to get certifications, or higher degree or read those new books- “I know it all”. They make me think - does learning ever stops? Aren’t we all learning every day from our own experiences? Isn’t machine learning an interesting field where the machine learns by itself using the data and its pattern and keep on improving? When you ponder over these questions you realize continuous learning is an inevitable skill to excel in any field. I firmly believe and advocate that Learning is a continuous process and it’s the only way to hone our skills and to be at the top in any industry.
Some very important skills when we talk about improving ourselves as professionals which are often overlooked is the value of Coaching and Mentoring. There are two sides to these skills, you can be either at the giving side or receiving side but you need to be on a side to be successful. If you have been fortunate enough to be in an industry for decades it’s a good sign to give those lessons learned, experience earned, tricks of the trade to newcomers or anyone who seeks help. If you are on the receiving side a good coach can help you to achieve great heights. Mentor-protégé or Coach-coachee these are exemplary relationships when formed help you pave the path to success not only in the professional but personal journey as well.
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby
Before we discuss the role of coaching in PM’s life let’s understand commonly misused words Coaching and Mentoring. Coaching is usually a short -term relationship, transactional and more focussed on skill development. Mentor is a long- term relationship, like an advisor, role model.
Mentoring is based on a fundamental principle of “pay it forward” because someone helped them and now they want to help others. Coaching and Mentoring both are based on three pillars: trust, confidentiality and a personal bond.
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to “- Richard Branson
When you are a Project Manager you are the protagonist of the project, you are the captain of a team, you need to understand your team in and out- their strengths, their weaknesses, their threats and develop, utilize them to their and project’s advantage. Coaching is a crucial element in good leadership. As a project manager, you should invest in your team’s skill development, to bring the best out of them, by providing them the resources, support they need. Coaching leads to employee growth, higher employee satisfaction, and higher productivity. It’s a win-win for everyone. Coaching is a process and ultimately becomes a learned behavior.
Coaching brings the best out of an employee. It helps them enhance their creativity and ultimately leads to innovation in the workplace. Although coaching might be skill focussed but to bring the best, the coach needs to use his/ her experience, facilitation skills, emotional intelligence. A coach needs to empathize with the individual he is coaching. Coaching is about listening and respecting the individual’s perspective, it’s about not taking them to finish line but build them so strong that they can cross the finish line on their own. It’s about giving honest feedback, it’s about instilling hope, it’s about maneuvering them to find their true potential.
In recent years, coaching has become part and parcel of corporate perks. Organizations feel it brings a lot of value to the table. Employees feel more motivated, excited, fresh. Helps them achieve their personal and professional pursuits. Organizations offer different kinds of coaching services like Wellness coach, life coach, Psychology coach, etc. HR is also trying different exercises and programs that include learning with fun. To summarize, Coaching is all about, finding the diamond, polishing its rough edges and show it to the world what it’s capable of.
In the end, I would like to share this amazing quote by Tom Landry:
"A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be."
Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Aayush Sharma