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Coaching Skills: Post-Program Perspectives

Cathy Sheldrick, Queen's IRC Marketing Assistant
Publication date: January, 2015
Queen's IRC Coaching Skill training program brochure cover

In December 2014, Queen’s IRC introduced a new two-day Coaching Skills program. With long-time Queen’s IRC facilitator Françoise Morissette at the helm, the program promises to deliver essential coaching skills, tools and models to help participants master the coaching process and improve performance at the individual and organizational level.

“Coaching is popular because it’s very portable and can be used formally or informally,” said Françoise, the lead facilitator for the program. She said coaching is a good opportunity to turn knowledge into know-how.  For organizations to compete, people development is becoming essential and employers are looking for opportunities to develop and manage talent. Training employees in coaching is one way to do that.

Talent is an organization’s biggest asset, and Françoise said she has heard over and over again that it’s not being managed well. “The program participants were very aware of the huge shifts happening in the world of work and how things will have to be different in the future of work.” Coaching is part of a larger set of vital skills that include talent management and talent development.

The inaugural program was very well received by participants. In fact, our post-program evaluations revealed that 100% of respondents found the programming to be directly relevant to their work. All respondents indicated that they agree or strongly agree that the IRC’s programming met their expectations and learning objectives. The evaluations indicated that all of the tools and modules were applicable to the participants’ work, with the “GROW Coaching Model” topping the list.

Raymond Wubs, an HR Business Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, said he found the GROW coaching model the most valuable part of the course.  He was pleased with all the extras that were provided, including the database of coaching questions to help find different ways of asking questions when you’re coaching.

“I am the lead for talent management and performance management at the Ministry of Transportation, so this has a direct link to my role,” Raymond said. “I was pleasantly surprised with how closely it linked to what I was hoping to get out of it.”

Raymond said he intends to take a more intentional role in developing their top talent, and the tools he received in the Coaching Skills program will help him do that.

Brittany Francis, an HR Business Partner at High Liner Foods, said she was looking for some skills to help her in her role, where she works with front line supervisors on a regular basis. She found the tools in the program extremely applicable. “I can use these tools every day, both at work, and at home.”

“I went in with an open mind, and my expectations were exceeded,” Brittany said.  She found the most value in practicing new skills as they went along, and in the takeaways, such as the question banks.

All of the participants interviewed had glowing reviews about facilitator Françoise Morissette. Brittany describes Françoise as knowledgeable, passionate, and humorous. Raymond says she is an excellent and knowledgeable facilitator. “She’s really engaging and she keeps the energy up in the classroom.”

Denise Miedzinski, Human Resources Manager at The Foray Group, agrees that Françoise is an excellent facilitator, and she enjoyed all of the extra pieces that were included. Denise also really liked the GROW model – she says it’s simple in a good way.  Denise plans to teach the other leaders in her organization how to use the model.

Denise brought along a colleague to the Coaching Skills program. She says it was beneficial because now they are both talking the same way about coaching. Denise saw value in how the program puts coaching in context, talks about facilitating and performance coaching, uses role plays, and allowed her to work with people from other organizations.

“I’ve done a lot of coaching, and I wanted to see if there was any additional skills I could pick-up.” She said that the Coaching Skills program tied in nicely with the Queen’s IRC Talent Management program, which Denise also completed in the fall of 2014.

Françoise said the Coaching Skills program is useful for managers and HR professionals, because whether they realize it or not, they spend a lot of their time coaching. But the potential use for coaching extends far beyond the traditional top down coaching methods.  Françoise noted that we are seeing more peer coaching, and bottom up coaching, where perhaps a younger person might be coaching an executive on new technology.

Please visit our website for more information on the Queen’s IRC Coaching Skills program.