Coaching 101: The Learning Process

graduatreJohn Radshaw offers what I feel is an incredibly apt definition of what it means to be a coach. He says that coaching is:

“Systematically increasing the capability and work performance of someone by exposing him or her to work-based tasks or experiences that will provide the relevant learning opportunities, and giving feedback to help him or her learn from them.”

He’s absolutely right. As a coach, though, you need to know how to get your mentee started – how do you jumpstart the learning process?

There are three things that need to be in place before you can teach anyone anything. They are:

  • Desire – the person you are coaching must want to learn as opposed to finding himself in a situation where he is forced to adopt a coach;
  • Opportunity – you must have the time to coach your employee, he must have the time to dedicate to the things you are teaching him, and you must have the support of your organisation (in both time and materials); and
  • Competence – you must be an expert in your area of specialty. Otherwise you’ll only cause confusion to the person you are coaching. The person you are coaching must be competent as well – he needs to care about his work, have the skills necessary to do the job, and be willing to work with you to make his job even better.

If these three main points do not exist you will have a very difficult time facilitating the learning process. Take the time to review your situation before you get started. Doing so will enable to you make the changes necessary to ensure you are successful.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

(Image by ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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Mark-WilliamsMark Williams

Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.