MyNavy Coaching is a Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP)-led initiative to build and sustain a coaching culture within the Navy with the goal not to make everyone a coach but to make our Sailors more coach-like. The mission of MyNavy Coaching is to inspire coaching partners to reach their potential and achieve maximum performance outcomes through coaching partnerships. The vision of MyNavy Coaching is to build an organizational coaching culture that instils and promotes coach-like attributes in Sailors which includes collaborative communication, a lifelong learner mindset, personal self-awareness, regular feedback, and professional growth. The Navy is focused on four strategic priorities and action plans to include creating coaching partnerships, promoting Sailor growth, promoting Sailor potential, and promoting candid feedback, with the four operating principles of partnership, growth mindset, potential, and feedback.
To grow sailors to be more coach-like consists of a 4-step process that includes:
- 1) Setting the Foundation
- 2) Creating the Partnership
- 3) Communicating Effectively
- 4) Driving Results/Accountability
To have the coaching conversation, a framework known as the GROW Model* (Goal, Reality, Options, and Will) is used. Here are some examples of using these questions in a coaching conversation.
*Permission to use GROW Model granted by estate of Sir John Whitmore and Performance Consultants International.
- What is your goal you would like to focus on? (Goal)
What feedback have you received in your current environment that indicates that you should work on this goal? (Reality)
What are some options you have to work on this? (Options)
- When will you start working on these options? How will I know you’ve made progress? How do you want me to hold you accountable? (Will)
There are three core skills used in coaching are: Active listening, empathy, and asking powerful, open-ended questions.
Coaching Enhances Warfighting Capability
Using coaching means we are able to engage sailors by simply asking them open-ended questions from a place of genuine curiosity and interest. By asking these open-ended questions, we are able to learn what our sailors want to develop personally and professionally. As they are investing in their development, they give us feedback about what they're learning and we ask them for feedback about how we can help them. Ultimately, this feedback lends to performance with our Navy team. In order to develop and perform at our best, it's important to take accountability and ownership of this development. These activities ultimately have an impact on retention - keeping Sailors in the Navy. Lastly, sailors are contributing to a culture renovation within themselves by engaging in continuous, ongoing development that lends to future-proofing our Navy by enabling and empowering our sailors through our relationships and partnerships.
Mentoring vs Coaching Conversations
Differentiating coaching from mentoring is an important step in creating the desired coaching culture. There is a presumption that these two types of conversations mean the same thing but really are not and produce different outcomes involving different types of skills used. The biggest difference is the approach that each of these conversations utilize. It is important to recognize when you are going in and out of these development conversations. To help you do this successfully, below is a description of mentoring and coaching conversations.
Mentoring is a voluntary relationship where there is usually a senior, more experienced person who provides personal and career assistance to a more junior, less experienced person. Mentoring is more of a “learn from me” approach. In the mentoring role, it is expected that the mentor, who is a subject matter expert, will share their experiences and give advice and guidance to the mentee.
In coaching, the coach is in a role to facilitate self-awareness on behalf of the coaching partner. The coach is asking open-ended questions, does not have to be the subject matter expert, does not have to be of the same rank, rate, or specialty, uses active listening, demonstrates empathy, and asks powerful questions to empower the coaching partner. The coaching partner is inspired to take accountability and ownership of their development.
Implementation of MyNavy Coaching
In March 2021, CNP agreed to a stand-up of a virtual MyNavy Coaching Peer-to-Peer initiative and a refocus on Mid-term Counseling. The follow-on tasks include:
1) Pilot various aspects of Peer-to-Peer initiative in person (to include leadership schoolhouses and accession pipelines), and virtually inform Navy-wide roll out with tried and tested products.
2) Introduce Peer-to-Peer initiative with follow-on self-paced coaching modules available virtually.
3) Reset the conditions for Mid-term Counseling that are rooted in coaching conversations and feedback to maximize performance.
4) Teach all sailors how to conduct and receive Mid-term Counseling.
5) Teach all sailors how to give and receive feedback.
MyNavy Coaching Challenge
Everyone in the Navy has an opportunity to play a role in creating and sustaining our Navy coaching culture. Below are some ideas to help you to start being more coach-like.
- Tell someone about MyNavy Coaching
- Have an open mind and be motivated to want to engage in these conversations
- Pick a skill to start working on right away such as active listening, empathy, or asking powerful questions
- Attend an in-person training or view online modules to learn the skills once these are available
- Start experiencing and practicing being more coach-like in your daily interactions as well as engaging in Peer-to-Peer coaching partnerships
*Emails to MyNavyCoaching@navy.mil from non .mil email accounts may not be delivered. Please use either your .mil account or call us at the number listed above.*
*MyNavy Coaching's training material is currently being developed and piloted. Please continue to check back for updates.*
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