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Introducing the All Things Series: Part 1, All Things Coaching

Friday, November 09, 2018 9:17 AM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

I am so excited to announce ATD-MAC's newest offering - All Things. All Things is a chance to take a piece of our field and dive deep for an entire month into "All Things" related to that topic. Throughout November, we are diving into All Things Coaching. 

All Things Coaching will feature a 4-part blog series by Ryan Panzer, ATD-MAC member, blogger, and training and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office. Ryan's series will tackle internal coaching programs, establishing a coaching business, executive coaching, and integrative coaching as he dives into the research and best practices in the industry. We'll release one blog per week as we dive into All Things Coaching. 

In the middle of the blog series, we'll also offer our first ever Live Facebook Event: All Things Coaching. Put on your jammies and grab a glass of wine when you join us for free, online November 20th from 8:00-8:45 pm. You'll have a chance to win great prizes, learn more about coaching, connect with the coaching community in Madison, and we'll cap it all of with a question and answer session with Ryan Panzer live on Facebook. Register today and receive an early entry into our price drawings. 

We look forward to seeing you online throughout November as were try something totally new in bringing you the All Things Coaching Blog Series and Facebook Live Event. This is part of ATD-MAC's commitment to bringing you the best and most innovative ways to continue your professional development. 

Thanks! And keep reading for our first post!
Erin Lavery
Vice President of Marketing, ATD-MAC


Is Your Organization Ready for a Coaching Program?
Ryan Panzer

When is the "right" time to start a coaching program?

Recently, I moved into a Learning and Development role at a company with no formal training or coaching program. as we have built out employee onboarding, ongoing product training, and a professional development curriculum, we have tried to assess the ideal timing for launching a coaching initiative. When would we start training managers to have a coaching conversation with their team? When would we begin to provide coaching support to our organization's leadership? Amidst the demand of so many other programs, our inevitable answer to the aforementioned questions is "later."

Given the competing projects and priorities that are intrinsic to many Learning and Development teams who work in a rapid/agile environment, is it inevitable that the cultural transformation necessary for an effective coaching program will take a permanent seat on the "to-do" list? So maybe asking about the "right" time for coaching is not the right question to ask!

Perhaps the right question, at first, is: "how might I intentionally cultivate a culture of coaching within my organization?"

This is an easier question, as you can justify moving coaching initiatives up from the backlog by considering the core characteristics of coaching. 

The ATD Competency Model defines coaching as the ability to "apply a systematic process to improve others' ability to set goals, take action, and maximize strengths." Because coaching is process-oriented and results-focused, it has the ability to improve all types of performance issues - including performance issues related to motivation, knowledge/skills, or organizational structures. Training, by the way, is usually only effective where performance issues stem from a deficiency in knowledge or skills. Perhaps this is why organizations who practice both coaching and training see faster results and an easier transfer for learning from coaching!

With these characteristics as the bedrock of coaching it is unsurprising that coaching is hardly theoretical. 

The Human Capital Institute identified that organizations with a strong coaching culture report 7% higher "revenues above that of their industry peer group" with 8% higher employee engagement. Similarly, Gartner found that customer contact organizations that utilize coaching experience a 12.2% average increase in agent performance (2014 Coaching Fundamentals Guide). Perhaps the innate effectiveness of coaching is part of the reason why 31 sessions at ATD ICE 208 had a coaching focus, while the expo hall was packed with 35 coaching exhibitors.

Given its intrinsic versatility and potential, the question that TD professionals should ask next is: "What type of coaching program is my organization ready for?"

There are a few different modalities to emulate in a coaching program - executive coaching, integrated coaching, and coaching as a habit, to name a few. The intended audience and expected benefit of each modality vary considerably. There is rarely a universal approach to coaching, which why it is so scalable, and why it needs to be shaped with analysis and intentionality. 

In the coming weeks, the ATD-MAC Blog will explore coaching from multiple perspectives. We will interview coaching practitioners here in the Madison area, and we will review the current literature on coaching to see what is working. Along the way, we hope you gain a few insights to continues to shape the cultures of coaching in your organization. 

Ryan Panzer
Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk, Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning. 


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