A "Coach Approach" to Staff Engagement

Margaret Macmillan

Abstract


The speed of change is challenging libraries to redevelop themselves in ways we have never seen before. Rising costs and changing customer expectations are forcing staff to continuously learn new skills, adapt to new technologies and work more closely in collaboration with others in response to this unpredictable environment. At the same time library leaders need to communicate regularly with staff and to motivate them to dialogue with each other about the value of the library service that they provide to the community. A creative approach to building flexibility, resilience and staff engagement has become essential for survival.
Coaching is a creative, innovative and effective communications tool that is now considered to be one of the most important ways to encourage employees to continue to learn and develop. Its greatest impact is in building leadership and staff engagement.
Communicating with “a coach approach” or coaching mindset is a powerful way for library leaders to connect with others where the flow and exchange is positive and there is a mutual benefit of contribution and collaboration, expanded knowledge and innovation. The basics of fostering “a coach approach” with library staff requires an understanding of the importance of “reframing” one’s personal attitudes and perspectives, appreciating the art of focused listening and the impact of positive acknowledgement, learning to ask the right questions and formulating action plans for continued success. It is a learned skill that requires a commitment to practice but is one that will ultimately demonstrate positive results.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21083/partnership.v6i2.1596

Copyright (c) 2016 Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

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Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research (ISSN: 1911-9593)