The impact of coaching on learning programmes

by Yendor Felgate: Director of the Being Human Group Pty (Ltd), a Gallup License Training Partner.
Coaching and training (learning and development) are often seen as separate processes in organisations, even though they are both concerned with human development. Whilst distinct processes, coaching and learning are highly congruent. In essence, they are both concerned with improving performance in individuals, teams and organisations.

Coaching + learning = transformation

We have seen improved learner intentionality (engagement, participation and implementation) regarding learning outcomes, when coaching and training have been integrated.

When you integrate the two, you are taking the best of both to ensure a high impact learning outcome. Coaching celebrates the uniqueness of the learner, whilst providing an opportunity to test what they have learnt. And good training provides the skills that matter. In combination, you get a bespoke learning process that matters to the learner.

Design is important

Design is important to ensure that coaching and learning are congruent. You want to avoid coaching going in one direction, and learning in another. We use strengths for our coaching and competence for our learning, when we co-design organisational learning processes. When properly linked or mapped you get strengths based competence.

Strengths + competence

A good example is communication. There are many good communication courses out there, yet the art and science of talking to each other remains elusive. By showing learners how their strengths filter their communication with others (individual and group coaching), in combination with important communication skills, such as listening (training), we get better communicators. Ones that know how to use their strengths (their innate traits) in ways (skills) that resonate with others.

In this way, we are only limited by our creativity. If there are 34 million possible Top 5 strengths combinations and we link them with available competency libraries, there are literally endless learning possibilities.

The learning experience is also different. Participants enjoy being 'in-charge' of their coaching, when engaging with learning content. This also allows us to flex the learning process as participants gain more insight or 'new learnings' emerge, so what participants are doing remains at all times relevant.

Learning transfer

Finally, we are all interested in improving learning transfer rates.

Nearly 25 percent of the individuals at organisations where coaching is demonstrated also said that their organisation’s efforts to support learners in sustaining their behaviour change are highly effective, compared to only 5 percent from individuals at organisations where coaching is not used. (Weber, Sayer, Arneill: 2017)

Useful resources:
Being Human Group
Being Human Group seeks to empower people, positively disrupt workplaces and change the way people lead by using the science of strengths.
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