Coaching for values, skills and ethics
Employers are often seeking these values and skills in their staff:
- Respect for others.
- A ‘can do’ attitude.
- Honesty and integrity.
- Reflective skills.
- Good presentation skills.
These are values and skills that are acquired over time as the employee matures and develops, maybe adapting to promotions as they move from being a functional operator, perhaps into a supervisory or management position and then into a senior strategic role as a director.
Structured coaching programs that are designed around both the goals of the organization and the individuals aspiration in it, can provide an effective and efficient way for staff to join and assimilate into an organization and then build new skills and ways ready for the senior role.
Coaching is important to help staff reflect and indeed develop those reflection skills. It also helps staff evolve their empathy (respect) for others and make more sense of where they stand ethically (honesty and integrity), which in themselves are essential ingredients in being a quality leader.
Kohlberg’s model of ‘moral development’ can help structure both the coaching development process of the individual and maybe help them identify where they currently stand in their ethical approach. Kohlberg described three stages:
In this stage, the individual acts in their own best interests to either obtain a reward or avoid a punishment (by ‘doing the right things’). It’s not hard to imagine that a new employee will want to know, understand and apply the ‘rules’.
In this stage, the individual feels and responds to peer pressure. They will want to conform to social norms and fit in. Good managers can learn how to ‘’get things done’ through others on behalf of the senior leadership team through assimilating these forms of ideas.
At this stage, possibly the more mature stage, the individual has a clear sense of principles, of what matters to them. They tend to be individualistic, but capable of understanding the ‘social contract’ i.e. the responsibilities we have towards others, especially our colleagues. This might be considered advance empathy!
Engaging with a coach can help the employer understand this process and tailor polices and current practices in order to move forward. Employers can also assess where their current staff (especially the future talent pool) are placed in the process, with a view to agreeing development plans.
If a coaching program is then agreed, tailored for each level of development, staff will benefit from having ‘good conversations’ that enable them to reflect. In turn, this leads to confident staff who have a ‘can do attitude’ and ‘present themselves well!’