Leadership and Management

How to use Solutions Based Coaching

Benefits of Coaching


There are numerous benefits to solutions based coaching in the workplace, such as:
1. Improved performance and productivity for both the individual and the team.
2. Staff development – coaching is a source of effective learning.
3. Improved relationships between the manager coach and staff member coachee, but also between the coachee and the rest of the team, especially when they become more self-aware of their impact and behaviours.
4. More time for the manager as the more the coachee develops, the more they will use more initiative and solve problems for themselves.
5. More creative ideas as coaching allows individuals to identify solutions which will lead to a more innovative culture.
6. More motivated staff as individuals who are coached feel valued and supported by their manager, which consequently leads to better job satisfaction and higher productivity.

As you can see, the benefits of coaching are substantial and this is not an exhaustive list. So, when we are considering coaching our staff, we may choose to use GROW (John Whitmore, 2009) as our model for hanging our coaching conversations around, however, there is another model that is particularly effective when trying to address a performance or behavioural problem and this is known as OSKAR.

OSKAR model for solutions based coaching

OSKAR (McKergow and Jackson, 2002) stands for:

O – Outcome/Objective.

This is what you and your team member want to achieve from the meeting or coaching session i.e resolving the specific problem or issue. For example, a need to improve time management so that attention is focussed on more important tasks.

S – Scale.

This is where you measure or quantify how close your team member is to achieving the desired Outcome, using a scale (often of one to 10.) For example, your team member may score themselves a 5 out of 10 in time management and you may score them a 3 out of 10. You would both discuss the reasons for the scores allocated here.

K – Know How.

Once you have an idea of where your team member is in relation to where they need to be, the next step is to look at what they need to get there. The “know-how” is the skills, knowledge, qualifications, and attributes that enable them to move forward. Use your scale to decide how far a particular solution will get them closer to your outcome, and what know-how they’ll then need to progress even further. For example, you both may agree that the skills needed to improve time management are prioritisation, delegation and organisational skills.

A – Affirm & Action.

This is where the pair of you focus on what’s already working well, or is already positive about their actions, skills, behaviours, and attributes. You then need to focus on the actions they need to take to progress, and to solve the problem you’ve identified.
Say your team member is already achieving five on your 0-10 scale. That’s great. One question you can ask here is, “What actions are you already taking to achieve this score?” If they are already achieving well, what actions could be taken to do even better? Will it simply be a case of them doing more of the same, or perhaps doing something differently? Your focus throughout the session should be on what next steps, however small, are going to work best, and what help you or your organization can offer them. For example your conversation may look at what your team member is already doing for them to rate themselves a 5 out of 10 in time management – so it may be that they feel that they are good at prioritisation but that they get distracted from achieving their tasks by other team members so you discuss what they can do to maintain their focus. You may also decide that attending a course on delegation and time management will help them.

R – Review.

This happens at the start of each coaching session. This is where you both review the action your team member has taken, decide what’s improved, and look at what needs to happen next to improve even further. This process should emphasize the positives or successful outcomes, even if there’s still a way to go to achieving the final goal. Ask your team member what changes they felt were successful and offer suggestions about what to change next. For example, you discuss that your team member feels their score is now a 6 out of 10 for time management as they have been able to implement the Urgent/Important technique for prioritisation and they feel they are achieving more in their day. However, they still reluctant to delegate and are often distracted by other team members. You may then suggest that they work in a different area when completing important tasks and challenge them to delegate at least one less important task to a team member.

As you continue with your coaching sessions you should carry on focussing on the Objective until you both feel their performance has achieved the desired level on the Scale.

If you have enjoyed reading about this technique, then join us on our next classroom-based course starting on 1st May where we study Coaching and Mentoring in the Workplace in depth. For further information and to reserve your space contact us on info@professional-futures.com or click the following link:

Leadership and Management Level 5

Details of the course are below:
Course: ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management
Venue: Bolton or Manchester
Duration: 5 Full days
Dates: 1st, 8th & 15th May, 5th & 12th June 2018
Time: 09.30 – 16.00 Lunch and refreshments are provided
Fees: £575 – Award, £845 – Certificate
Understanding the Skills, Principles and Practice of Effective Management Coaching and Mentoring – You will learn about the methods of Coaching and Mentoring, identifying the differences between each. You will analyse the benefits of these methods within leadership and management, whilst considering the barriers that a manager/leader may face.

Managing Stress and Conflict in the Organisation – You will learn about the sources and symptoms of stress and conflict within the workplace, along with the organisational and personal consequences of stress and conflict. You will then analyse your own area of responsibility and establish how stress and conflict is managed, identifying ways to improve.

Online Unit:
– You will assess and analyse the leadership practices and techniques adopted by your management team and yourself. This will link closely to leadership and management theory, and will include recommendations for improvement to motivate and communicate effectively with your teams.

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Professional Futures