Coaching Health Care Employees – Health System Example

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"Coaching Health Care Employees" is a decent example of a paper on the health system. Coaching of employees is an ongoing process that focuses on the development of employees' skills, knowledge, and experience with an intention of helping them meet their needs. This paper focuses on the determination of intentions of coaching, assessment of strengths and leadership style to use in coaching, and clarification of expectations and parameters using an example of Mala, an employee who needs coaching. This paper subsequently lists coaching questions I might develop to ensure learning opportunities and interventions are applied as needed and how they might help address my intended coaching goals, how I would observe whether my coaching has been effective, and how I would administer feedback to this individual.

  Manion (2011) defines coaching as: A Process of facilitating an individual's or team's development through giving advice and instruction, encouraging discovery through guided discussions and hands-on         experiences, observing performance, and giving honest, direct, and immediate feedback (p. 289) Determining intentions of coaching Mala is fresh from a college employee who requires coaching in order to help her gain experience in a clinical setting.

Since Mala has no clinical experience, my intention as a nurse leader to coach her is to help her improve her skills and abilities. Mala has the enthusiasm and professional drive that could benefit my healthcare organization. There are skills imperative in the nursing field. The quality of services provided in a facility is largely dependent on the abilities of the nurses. The skills and competencies that I have in mind that Mala needs to be helped develop include organizational skills, the ability to prioritize, how to manage conflicts or disagreements, and time management.

My primary focus in this process is to help Mala develop these skills for the benefit of the organization. To engage Mala in identifying her skills and competencies, I would sit down with her in my office and ask her to explain to me what her ambitions in life are, and also areas she would be interested in working within the organization. After identification of her ambitions and interests,   I would then conduct an assessment in order to develop goals of coaching that are in line with her areas of interest.

        Assessing the performer One of the strengths of Mala is her enthusiasm or interest and secondly, her professional drive. Her interest ascertains her ability to learn. It is imperative for nurses to behave in professional manners. For instance, the code of ethics of nursing requires them to treat patients' medical information confidentially. This is where Mala's professional drive comes in handy. In other words, her professional drive will help her create constructive relationships with patients as well as with other stakeholders in healthcare and conduct her responsibilities effectively. As Kanefield (2011) notes, a strength-based leadership style helps employees achieve their identified goals, skills, and competencies hence it would be appropriate to help Mala in the coaching process.

A strength-based leadership style helps in the identification of talents and behaviors of employees, and also helps them attain their highest potential on the basis of these talents and behaviors (Manion, 2011). It is worth noting that employees have divergent talents and behaviors. Therefore, a strength-based approach to leadership would help me as a nurse manager to identify Mala's individual abilities and consequently help align her assigned responsibilities with their individual skills.

    Clarifying expectations and parameters         Each of us, Mala and I as the learner and coach respectively has a role to play in the coaching process and expectations to fulfill. Coming into a consensus in terms of our individual responsibilities would reduce the possibility of disagreements or conflicts arising during coaching. As a manager and coach in this situation, my role is to facilitate Mala's process of skill development. To achieve this, I am expected to monitor and as well scrutinize her performance timely and openly, and offer my input in terms of suggestions to help guide the process.

Mala's role as the individual being coached as outlined by Manion (2011) is to exercise repeatedly while applying my input, assistance, and direction as a coach in a bid to advance and develop her performance. The coaching process is affected by a number of factors. These factors include drawbacks and time limits. The end result of the coaching process can be adversely affected by these factors and hence it is my responsibility as a nurse manager and coach to discuss these time limits and other limitations relating to coaching with Mala.     There are also learning opportunities I could provide for Mala.

One of the opportunities is figuring out deadlines and inadequacies associated with various activities and sharing them with Mala. Lack of setting deadlines as mentioned above may have a negative effect on the overall outcome of the coaching process and as well affect the eagerness of Mala to learn (Manion, 2011). This learning opportunity ought to be approached first.

This could be followed by job rotations whereby Mala is allowed to work in different departments in turns. The main objective of rotations is to diversify the learning process and allow Mala to diversify her skills, knowledge, and abilities. To achieve this, I would advise Mala to develop new and constructive relationships with other experienced nurses in all departments who can help her achieve her goals. Good relationships with other nurses would help her gain support and receive the necessary level of input in relation to learning.

Thirdly I would enlist her to participate in new projects within the facility with the main objective of activating her thought process in the facilitation of her skills. The best practice in this situation is to encourage her to ask as many questions as possible so that she can learn. Similarly, observing and listening keenly are also practices that could facilitate her learning process (Tyra, 2008). Carrying out the coaching intervention Asking questions is one of the most effective forms of coaching intervention. Questions as explicated by Manion (2011) encourage the individual to reflect and see the 'big picture' in a situation.

Mala as a learner and performer has so many areas she needs to improve. Focusing the questions in a way that activates her thought process and applies her strengths is imperative. Examples of questions that I could ask her include: How do you think this situation can be solved? How can you solve the problems in this situation? Which of your strengths can you apply in this situation to help you solve the problem? There are development opportunities that could help me address my intended coaching goals.

One of these development opportunities is applying a transformational type of leadership (Manion, 2011). Characteristics of a transformational leader are challenging his or her employees in a bid to facilitate the development and advancement of their skills and recognizing their achievements and success. For instance, encouraging Mala to participate in challenging situations will help in the development of her skills.   Observing performance To assess Mala's performance, I would use a direct observation approach and then ask her colleagues to evaluate her performance by filling questionnaires.

Through directly observing how she conducts her activities, I would be able to compare her performance in various activities with the organizational goals and objectives (Manion, 2011). Using other nurses to evaluate her performance would help in the identification of areas I might have by-passed that need improvement. Effectiveness of performance is measured in terms of time spent to acquire and master particular skills, and the kind of approach that has resulted in quality outcomes (Manion, 2011). Direct observation can therefore help me in assessing Mala's performance on the basis of these perspectives. Giving feedback Manion (2011) defines feedback as "Giving information in the present about past behavior in an effort to influence future behavior" (p.

337). In Mala's situation, I would administer feedback through my body language and paying attention to her performance. Take for instance Mala has been on duty and has only managed to accomplish half of her duties. In this situation, I can focus on what she has managed to achieve rather than on what she has not. Such feedback will definitely make her feel better and be motivated to achieve even more in her subsequent obligations.

Showing contentment with her achievements is a body language approach that helps her identify areas I, as her coach, appreciates her achievements and performance. It would also be important to make positive comments on her performance and give her rewards for improved performance as this will encourage her in the attainment of her objectives.   Conclusion In a nutshell, coaching is an ongoing process and is mainly done for the main purpose of developing the skills of employees. The coaching process begins with setting goals or objectives of the process, followed by identification of the strengths of the employee in need of coaching.

This is then followed by ensuring each of the players understands their roles to prevent conflicts. The coaching intervention then is conducted by asking questions that activates the thought process. Performance is then observed in order to set the ground for giving feedback.        


Kanefield, A. (2011). Know your own strength. Smart Business St. Louis, 4(2), 6.

Manion, J. (2011). From management to leadership: Strategies for transforming health care (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Tyra, S. (2008). Coaching nurses: A real example of a real difference. Creative Nursing, 14(3), 111–115.

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