The Volunteer Recruitment and Development Strategy (Volunteer Recruitment and Development) for Scouts Canada contains four key elements.
Scouts Canada manages its volunteers at all levels through...
The purpose of this brochure is to help people understand how coaching is related to Volunteer Recruitment and Development. It is also to be used as a resource to the Skills Charts for Section Scouters.
Coaching can be used at any level of Scouting where there is a desire to improve and enhance performance.
Coaching is an effective method for developing attitudes, skills and knowledge while continuing to get the actual job done. Unique training needs can be accommodated while taking into account the learner's abilities and past experience. The learner can see a clear and direct link between what they are learning and the function they perform in Scouting. Individuals are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for learning what they need to know when they need to know it. The result is better program leadership leading to better scouting for more youth.
What is coaching
Coaching usually occurs one on one as the learner performs a job-related function. It is a learner-centred process where a competent and supportive person ensures that:
What is a coach?
A coach is not a supervisor or boss! The coach must be knowledgeable and capable with respect to the job to be coached and able to explain and model Scouting values, principles and practices. Effective communication and listening skills should be matched with patience and empathy. The coach's ideas and counsel must be delivered in such a way as to build competence and confidence not destroy them. This means that the coach must be acceptable to the learner as well as the Scouting organization.
Where does coaching fit in scouting?
Coaching happens in section meetings, district/area and regional events, and at any other Scouting activity. It should complement, supplement, or substitute for more traditional training when any one takes on a new, changing or expanded role within the organization. On the job coaching is an essential part of any effective recruitment and development process.
How should coaching be done?
There are five steps in coaching a person on a new skill:
The learner will need to understand the coaching process and how this is intended to assist them in their personal development. The learner also needs to feel comfortable in discussing their needs and expectations with the coach(s). The coach and the learner should get together and agree on each others role, the process, and time lines to be followed. Agree on observations and measurements to ensure competence has been achieved. Identify external factors such as time lines which may affect the learning? Determine what resources each will need to bring to the coaching process.
Discuss the learner's job function with them. What does he or she need to be able to do at the end of the process? What attitude, skills, and knowledge are already possessed? What standards need to be met to demonstrate competence? The section leader training plans and skills charts provide a framework. Be careful about setting overly detailed or ambitious standards. Remember to use a common-sense approach! Scouting policies and publications like the section leader handbook provide many useful and realistic yardsticks. Individual coaches have different skill sets. Select the one needed for the specific requirement.
Do not assume that the learner has limited ability. Accept that the learner will come to the process with knowledge, skills and abilities. Coaching should be facilitative and learner driven. Ask open questions about how the learner would approach the task. Listen actively and non-judgmentally to the learner's ideas. Reinforce good ideas and ask questions to draw out the possible consequences or limitations of their plan. Use opportunities to share your own experiences both positive and not so positive. The learner will learn from your successes and build confidence from the way in which you overcame your failures. People learn in different ways and at different rates. Ensure that communication between coach and learner is positive and supportive. Remember that there are many ways to carry out a task. Be flexible as you evaluate performance. It may well be that the learner has discovered a better way to do the job than the one you use.
Agree on what the learner will do, and what support he or she will need from you. Ensure that the learner knows how to access any needed resources or people needed to proceed with the task. Be especially clear on any job functions that are to be held back or introduced at some future time but do not hold anything back unnecessarily. Make sure the learner knows the scope of his or her authority, and the time lines for the task. Agree on a time and place to provide feedback and any necessary follow-up.
Discuss both the coach's and learner's perceptions of how things are going. This may be done through observation and/or discussion with the learner, members of the leadership team, or the youth. If there are still shortfalls or discrepancies, encourage the learner to come up with solutions as you did in step 2. Where competence is demonstrated, provide feedback and encouragement. Work together to set goals for further development and training if appropriate.
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