If you’re a clinical coach or mentor in your veterinary practice, you’ll know the responsibility for supporting junior team members goes way beyond helping them learn the technical knowledge needed to do their job, or achieve a qualification. It’s also about creating well-rounded, dedicated staff who understand the unwritten rules and responsibilities of the profession.
To this end, we’ve put together some tips for more effective clinical coaching…
1. Master the art of “active listening”
Active listening skills are critical to being a good clinical coach, because the success of coaching is built upon how well you communicate with each other. Coaches who know how to listen actively will not simply sit back and listen to what someone has to say. Instead, they will go the extra mile to make sure they’re being heard. Active listeners will sit up straight, take notes, ask open questions that push discussion, repeat what they’ve heard to clarify their understanding, and provide verbal gestures to show they’re following what you’re saying.
2. Invest in your team’s success
People who are not just in it for themselves and genuinely care about the success of a business make the best clinical coaches, because they’re not greedy or coy with the skills and experience they have to offer. Instead, they’re actively invested in the success of others in the organisation, want to see people do well and are willing to teach others what they know in order to help them.
3. Act as a positive role model
More than anything else, good coaches should be good role models to the people they’re developing. The best coaches are people who take pride in what they do, want to grow and truly care about their own careers. This is because they are more likely to want to make the most out of their coaching programme. What’s more – because they carry high expectations for themselves, they will bring high standards into the relationship and push for ambitious goals in their mentees too.
4. Focus on helping others to “problem solve”
Good coaches understand the value of practical guidance and feedback in helping someone to solve problems constructively. This is what coaching and mentoring is all about. What’s more – they can ask the right questions and prompts that allow others to understand their strengths and weakness and set appropriate career goals for themselves.
5. Value ongoing learning and growth
Good coaches don’t just believe they can learn something from anyone and anything, they know they can and therefore actively look out for opportunities to learn something new. They understand that they have just as much to gain from mentoring as their mentee, and that the relationship can expose them to new ideas and ways of thinking that will aid their personal and professional growth.
If you’re interested in developing your coaching and mentoring skills, our Coaching and Mentoring qualifications, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), can help you support development within the workplace, as well as gain confidence in influencing, guiding and supporting those around you. For further information on our courses, or details about how to apply, visit the CAW Business School website.