Forensic coaching skills — developing the workforce of today

Image of a magnifying glass zoning in on the target to demonstrate the forensic coaching skills message.

Key takeaways

  • To adapt to the changing work environment, the traditional methods of coaching needs to be overthrown, to make way for conversations that reflect the modern workplace.
  • Coaching today must cater to remote, hybrid and F2F employees — and relooking at how we deliver coaching is essential to ensure it’s efficacy.
  • Coaching is moving away from a once-a-year formality, to informal regular check-ins that help employees set and achieve goals.
  • Rewriting the coaching rule book for the employees of today is essential for organisations to tap in to the power of their people.
  • Forensic coaching is a method that embodies all of these, getting to the heart of problems and supporting people to achieve their goals.

Ever heard of forensic coaching? Prepare to have your eyes opened.

If you’ve been around the block a few times, you’ll know the drill with traditional coaching. Part of the performance management cycle, they often involve long sessions, formal conversations, and goal setting. But in today’s fast-paced work environment, the traditional paradigms of coaching are being challenged. Professionals are busier than ever, and how we work looks completely different than it has ever done before.  Enter Forensic coaching, a new approach for managers to help build skills and develop their teams in todays fast-paced environment.

So what does this all mean for coaching as we know it? Here’s the inside scoop:

The 8 elements of Forensic coaching:

  1. The need for speed.
  2. Consistency is key.
  3. Embracing informality.
  4. Keeping it real.
  5. Get forensic
  6. Show, don’t just tell.
  7. Syncing up in a flexible world.
  8. Going virtual, staying real.

1. The need for speed  

Gone are the days when coaching sessions spanned hours. In today’s work environment, it’s all about dynamic, impactful chats that pack a punch.  

When it comes to forensic coaching, the value isn’t in the duration, but the quality of the dialogue. A long coaching marathon is now transformed into a punchy sprint, and the new norm is meaningful, out-come focused conversations, that seamlessly integrate into the regular workday and deliver on goals. 

2. Consistency is key  

While the speed of interactions has increased, it’s paramount that these conversations are not isolated events. Once a year just doesn’t cut it anymore. To create real impact, developing consistent catch-ups, rather than those once-in-a-blue-moon sit-downs, are the real deal.  

Annual reviews or occasional check-ins are out, and are being overshadowed by the need for regular touchpoints. The forensic coaching method embodies this, helping employees stay on track to achieve their goals, provide regular support, and strengthen the mentor-mentee relationship. 

3. Embracing informality 

Coaching can have a bed rep. Think of the traditional formal, ceremonious 1-2-1s, and it’s no wonder employees clam up when it comes to the meeting. It’s not great for bringing out rich conversations, or for connection building! 

It’s time to loosen up. Sometimes, the most relaxed convos bring out the gold. Forensic coaching involves spontaneous, genuine interactions, devoid of the “coaching” label, which bring forth more candid feedback, fostering a deeper understanding between parties. 

4. Keeping it real  

Every effective coaching session rests on the pillars of trust and mutual understanding. Being on the same page is super important. With forensic coaching there are no hidden agendas or smoke and mirrors. Just straightforward, transparent chats focussed on objectives, feedback, and future steps builds that only builds trust. This also ensures everyone is clear on the outcomes and next steps. The result? A cohesive and beneficial coaching process — a win for everyone!  

5. Get forensic 

With the demand for more streamlined coaching processes, the concept of “forensic coaching” tool emerges as a beacon. It zeroes in on the heart of issues, offers sharp solutions, and is outcome focused. Think of a coaching style that directs the conversation towards identifying goals — and providing the structure to achieve them.  

6. Show, don’t just tell  

It’s one thing to chat, but what about keeping track? Jotting down those nuggets of wisdom, moments of inspiration, or sparks of creativity can be a game-changer. Key insights and takeaways from coaching conversations can provide a roadmap for growth, carefully planning out those next steps and helping participants navigate their individual journey and achieve their goals. Plus, with tangible evidence of progress, it is so much easier for coachees to look back and see how far they have come! 

7. Syncing up in a flexible world  

With the rise of flexible working, offices are now a melting pot of diverse working styles. Whether that be fully remote, hybrid, or dispersed around the world coaching now has to work for everyone.   

Ensuring it’s effectiveness across both synchronous and asynchronous interactions is a balancing act. It could be a real-time pep talks or an on-going chat via message but being able to maintain the impact of coaching conversations, no matter the delivery method is key. Forensic coaching is a style that can be adapted to everyone, no matter their location or set up.

8. Going virtual, staying real  

The digital age has ushered in the era of remote teams, and it’s changing the game. With this, the nuances of virtual coaching come into play. After all, coaching a participant over a screen is a whole new ball game — what happened to spontaneous, informal conversations? The next steps for coaches lies in ensuring that the essence and effectiveness of coaching are retained, even when interactions happen across screens.

To wrap it up  

The coaching rulebook? It’s getting a rewrite. It’s fresher, snappier, and more outcome driven than ever. It’s essential to recognise these shifts and adapt, ensuring that coaching remains a potent tool for personal and professional growth. If not, organisations risk missing out on unlocking the power of their people. Forensic coaching is the new gold standard — are you ready? 

Want to learn more on forensic coaching?

For those eager to delve deeper into the transformative power of forensic coaching, we’ve got specialised workshops designed to get you started.  

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