Coaching is the process in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance. The overall goal of coaching is to work with the employee to solve performance problems and to improve the work of the employee, the team, and the department. Employees who respond positively to coaching and improve their performance can become valued contributors to the success of the business.

The learner is sometimes called a coachee. Occasionally, coaching can get confused with mentoring.  Coaching is not mentoring. Mentoring is to advise or train someone, especially a younger colleague. In both cases, one person has more experience and expertise than the other.  However, formal coaching differs from mentoring by focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to the more general goals or overall development provided by mentoring.

Our coaches are hired to support clients that are faced with challenging situations that involve their employees when efforts to change and solve the presenting issues were not successful. Coaches are valuable to our clients because they bring a more neutral and objective perspective because they do not work directly with either party. Employees are often more comfortable sharing concerns and receiving situational feedback from someone who understands their work and at the same time, is not someone they work with day to day. This often allows the employee to share more specific concerns regarding the situation at hand.  Invista Performance Solutions (IPS) coaches are highly trained and understand the role and value of confidentiality for the person being coached.

Before the coaches are introduced to the employee, they have received many different perspectives about the person who is being coached. These perspectives include successes and concerning behavior that they have been asked to help the coachee understand and change.  

Here is how the coaching process works:

The First Meeting – The coach starts the process with a formal meeting that involves both the coachee (person being coached) and their manager. The purpose of this initial meeting is to understand the goals of both parties to get an idea of what “success” looks like for both of them. After about 30 minutes the manager leaves the coach and the coachee alone allowing the coach to get the coachee’s perspective on what is going on. Often the coachee has somewhat of a different understanding of what happened. The coach assures the coachee that all perceptions have value because people see things differently. Helping the coachee to accept other perceptions as valid is a critical step forward.  This is done with a deep respect for all parties. The art of coaching is to open the playing field up to explore how things got to where they are and to discover what everyone is trying to do to get to the end goal.

Gathering Information– The next step for the coach is to gather information from the peers of the coachee. They often have insight that will give the coach a diverse perspective of the coachee’s behavior.  The peers can be selected by the manager or the coachee. After interviews the coach provides a very high-level summary of the feedback to the coachee so that they can begin to see the common patterns and behaviors that have been shared.  During the whole process the coach is very neutral. They are a witness to all the concerns and interpretations.  The goal is for the coachee to be curious about how they can be seen in the way that they want to be seen.  

The Summary – The coach will ask the coachee questions, such as:

  • “How do you think they got that impression?”
  • “What might you have said or done that they didn’t understand and how do you think they got another meaning all together?”
  • “What is another way you could have said that which might have had a better result?”

The Solution – Over the length of the entire process, the coach is providing short reading materials, assessments for self-understanding, easy homework activities to practice interpersonal and communication skills, and a coachee focus of the week, such as, “be aware of when you do and don’t listen well and how it affects others”. The outcome of this process should result in the coachee recognizing their behavior and having the tools to make changes should they need to. 

Our coaches are skilled experts at helping the coachee create self-awareness, how to use and understand emotional intelligence, how to identify and eliminate triggers, how to reframe thoughts and language and most importantly, how be consistent as a leader.  

IPS is proud of the unique services that our coaches have been providing to clients all over Pierce County. Below is a list of clients that we have proudly served.

  • City of Tacoma Environmental Services Division
  • City of Tacoma Solid Waste Division
  • City of Tacoma Neighborhood and Community Services Division
  • City of Tacoma Systems and Performance Division
  • Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Reischling Press Inc.
  • Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
  • Pierce College District
  • Clover Park School District Maintenance and Operations Department
  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Contact us here to set up an appointment with one of our coaches for a consultation.

We are able to offer web-based programs for all types of critical employee learning and training during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Customized Online Learning specific to your company and employee needs delivered on your schedule
  • Self-Paced Online Learning from one of our many qualified vendors–participants learn at their own pace
  • Scheduled Online Learning from one of our vendors or our community colleges–participants follow a schedule and meet an instructor virtually