Oct 1 ’15

Coaching Mainframers

by Trevor Eddolls 

There’s absolutely no doubt from the research that coaching does help individuals. And it is often part of the role of managers to coach their staff. The research also shows that businesses benefit from having their staff being coached. Although, having said that, there is anecdotal evidence of organizations using coaching in a fairly random way, where HR has no record of who the coaches being used are and what the outcomes of the sessions led to!

It seems self-evident that your mainframe staff are going to benefit from some form of coaching from time-to-time. And if they benefit, the organization will benefit. Coaching is different from mentoring in that the coach doesn’t need to know all the answers, just the right questions to ask. To help coaches maximize the use of the time spent with coachees, there are a number of successful coaching models. Let’s have a look at what styles you can choose from – and most come with an easy to remember acronym.

Before we look at the coaching models, the most important skills that a coach needs to have are active listening, questioning, providing actionable feedback and facilitating. Let’s look at those models.

The GROW model is, perhaps, the best known coaching model. GROW stands for:

The GROW model was developed by a number of authors including Graham Alexander, Alan Fine and Sir John Whitmore.

The TGROW coaching model was adapted from the GROW model by Myles Downey in his book, "Effective Coaching." The T stands for Topic, which is what the coachee wants to address. This is bigger than the Goal.

The next acronym on our list is ACHIEVE, which was developed by Dr Sabine Dembkowski and Fiona Eldridge. ACHIEVE stands for:

OSKAR uses solution-focused techniques and was developed by Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow. The process has two main thrusts—identify exceptions to bad things and doing more of the things that work. OSKAR stands for:

There’s also the SUCCESS coaching model, where SUCCESS stands for:

There’s the STEPPPA coaching model, where, they believe, behaviour is driven by emotion, therefore, actions are motivated by how emotionally committed to a goal people feel. STEPPPA stands for:

This CLEAR coaching model was devised Peter Hawkins, where CLEAR stands for:

The RAPPORT model was devised by Seth M Bricklin as a way to increase emotional intelligence in executives. RAPPORT stands for:

Dr Ron Muchnick came up with The SOLVE coaching model in his book, ‘Coaching : How to Solve Executive Coaching Issues’. SOLVE stand for:

The ARROW model is similar to GROW and was developed by Matt Somers, author of ‘Coaching at Work’. It adds reflection as an important part of the coaching process. ARROW stands for:

And there are many other acronyms that can help in a coaching situation. But whichever one you choose, as long as it’s helping the coachee overcome a problem or achieve a goal, it has been worthwhile. And it can help develop the newer members of your mainframe team to a successful future.