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During this session, we will analyse the impact of coaching on individual learning and development.

Coaching in itself is a form of learning and development, by coaching a client and using good questioning skills they are able to identify areas where they need to focus. It is key that they identify these areas (without this being pointed out by the coach) and that they take ownership for developing these areas (how are they going to improve this skill, who will support them, when will they do this etc).

Let’s take some time to look at competence, there is a curve known as the Learning Curve and Competence Curve.

All individuals will be somewhere on this curve, let’s start at the bottom and work our way up:

  • Un-Consciously Incompetent - This is often where individuals are new to a job and they don’t know what they are doing wrong
  • Consciously Incompetent - This is the next stage and covers where errors have been found and individuals know that they are making mistakes but they don’t know how to fix them.
  • Consciously Competent - This is the next stage which is where individuals know that they are competent in doing their job
  • Un-Consciously Competent - This is the best stage of all, this is where you are competent in the work you do and you just get on and do the job without thinking too much about it.

Options for learning and development are often endless, these options may include:

  • Shadowing a colleague - Often the best way to learn is to watch an expert do it before trying it for yourself. Shadowing needs to be exactly that, watching and not doing until you are happy that you know what to do. This is where you are consciously incompetent
  • Attending a training course - A popular choice to increase skills is to attend a training course, this may be via eLearning or a classroom-based course. Either way training sessions will specifically focus on learning needs and help individuals to achieve learning outcomes. This is also where you are consciously incompetent
  • Completing some online research

These days, pretty much everything you need to know you can find online and this is an important part of learning and development. This part of learning is often overlooked but it can prove a vital element of learning and development. Often individuals will say ‘but I didn’t know what I didn’t know’ by this they mean that they were in unconsciously incompetent.

Organisations are often supportive of the learning and development needs identified through coaching, this is because the initial investment in coaching has already been made and therefore, by default they will support any subsequent learning needs.

As the clients have identified the need of learning themselves they are often more engaged in this process (as they have opted to attend this, rather than simply being booked onto a course by an employer).

Coaching should be a positive experience and one which is both supportive and motivational. In summary, as the learning and development needs are identified by the clients they are often are more effective and used to reach more tangible targets.