Guidance through the murky promotion journey…

Two of the hardest things to handle in life are success and failure. Both feature intrinsically in police promotion processes. Coaching can help individuals with their preparation and approach, guiding them through what can seem like a misty, murky journey towards police promotion.

Some of the products of coaching that facilitate success are:

  • Proactive focused thought, attention and observation
  • Self belief, self motivation, commitment, awareness, responsibility
  • Action!
  • Higher than normal focused attention – leading to higher than normal performance
  • Achieving! What next?

Coaching: What is it?

There are many descriptions for coaching but Tim Gallwey offers one great definition:

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) meanwhile suggest coaching as…

“Developing a person’s skills and knowledge so that their job performance improves, hopefully so that organisational objectives are achieved”.

Coaching generally occurs over a short duration and is relatively structured to achieve set goals.

Coaching as part of your CPD

There is a growing trend (and expectation) for individuals to take greater responsibility for continuing their personal and professional development (CPD). Coaching is part of this CPD and demand for coaching is increasing.

Coaching is about you setting your goals and your coach supporting you to reach achievement.

Coaching goalsTraditional training, advising, consulting and mentoring are forms of downloading; they put in advice, content, information and guidance. Coaching uses insightful questioning and listening together, to upload and reflect back ideas, hopes, dreams and plans. It recognises that people are much more likely to implement things they have thought up for themselves.

If you were a fly on the wall watching a coaching session, what would you see? You would see two people having a confidential and focused conversation, which helps learning to occur. Everyone has untapped potential and with a little bit of support we can all do better but as John Whitmore points out…

“Few travel far enough along the path of personal or professional development to realise their fuller potential.”

There has been an increase in the number of individuals contracting coaches and mentors on a private basis, some looking for a career change, some to strike a balance between work and home life and others to maximise their personal potential for promotion processes.

It is natural to be uncertain or sceptical about whether coaching can make a difference. However, as with other changes and innovations, there are early adopters who are keen to try new approaches ahead of the early majority. This is at a time when there are plans to reduce police supervision levels and to increase spans of control, where competition for formal leadership positions is unlikely to decrease.

For those aspiring to future promotion, coaching provides a competitive edge through increased self awareness; improved knowledge and enhanced performance.

Why you? Police leadershipSo what’s is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

The term coach/mentor is now widely accepted because skills required to ensure best practice in each discipline are similar and overlapping in many respects. Bob Garvey, Professor of coaching and mentoring at Sheffield Hallam University, says:

“I’ve given up trying to make a distinction between coaching and mentoring… both ultimately mean facilitated conversation”

The CIPD agree that “coaching and mentoring are development techniques based on the use of one-to-one discussions to enhance an individual’s skills, knowledge or work performance”. It is possible to draw distinctions between coaching and mentoring, although in practice the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Both coaching and mentoring then, are conversations; the purpose of which is to either improve skills or performance or to realise individual potential or personal ambitions for the future – or any combination of these.

Kind Regards, Steve

Wherever you are on your promotion journey, can help with guidance and support.