International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleTwo related narratives: learning from an evaluation of a short coaching workshop and a pilot coaching project
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection on Practice Development
Author/sKeith Jones
ReferenceVolume 5 , Issue 2, Article 7
Date of PublicationNovember 2015
Keywordscoaching skills, effective workplace cultures, nurses, reflection

Background and context: A key role of the district’s Nursing Midwifery Practice and Workforce Unit is to build capability in the nursing and midwifery workforce. In this paper I reflect on the experience of my team following attendance at a two-day Coaching for Performance workshop and the impact this had on developing coaching skills for nurse managers and nurse unit managers in South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

Aims: To highlight how engaging in critical reflection enabled the unit team to identify gaps in the transfer of coaching skills learned from the two-day workshop to everyday management practices. The pilot project to embed coaching into management practices is the result of the team’s reflection. The method, findings and implications for coaching practices for nurse managers and nurse unit managers are described in detail.

Findings: Using Gibbs’ model of reflection, the unit team reflected on its collective experiences following attendance at the workshop. This led to the development of a pilot coaching project called Embedding Coaching into Practice for nurse managers and nurse unit managers, which enabled the transfer of coaching skills learned to everyday management practices. The pilot project used a ‘coaching the coach’ approach, with structured follow-up at the managers’ places of work. This had a positive impact on the development of coaching skills and managers were able to use these skills with confidence to enable their staff to develop problem-solving skills.

Conclusions: This paper highlights how using a validated tool for reflection can lead to positive change. ‘Coaching the coach’ can support transfer of coaching skills learned into everyday practices, which has a positive impact on work performance for nurse managers, nurse unit managers and their staff. It supports the practice development principle that lifelong learning can influence effective workplace cultures and have a positive impact on patient care.

Implications for practice:

  • Development of coaching skills for managers enables them to build better relationships with staff and facilitate conversations about work performance and how this can influence patient care
  • Coaching programmes that have a practical component should include planning for ongoing support from an experienced coach to practise the skills learned
  • Collaboration, inclusiveness and participation are key to building effective workplace cultures

This article by Keith Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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