What is coaching?

Coaching is a training or development process via which an individual is supported while achieving a specific personal or professional competence result or goal.
The individual receiving coaching may be referred to as coachee. Occasionally, the term coaching may be applied to an informal relationship between two individuals where one has greater experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the other goes through a learning process, but coaching differs from mentoring by focusing upon competence specifics, as opposed to general overall development

The development process is basically covered by the following 5 steps:

  1. Observe:
    The observation of new viewpoints will be crucial for the coachee find solutions and allow the individual to choose between the alternatives available to achieve their goals.
  2. Awareness:
    Observation enables awareness, basically about our power of choice. The coach focuses the coachee on options and their consequences, providing specific tools to choose consciously and more effectively.
  3. Determination of objectives:
    Is an essential step to any process of coaching, have clearly defined goals that will guide decisions and actions. Important to note is that the coach merely facilitates the decision-making; he can not choose or set targets on behalf of the coachee.
  4. Acting:
    After gathering all the information, action is sustained over time.
    The coach will accompany this process closely to help overcome the difficulties encountered in implementing the actions. Like any sport, the coach cannot take action on behalf of the coachee, but can point out inefficiencies or road-blocks and suggest methods to overcome them.
  5. Measure:
    At all times it is essential to check if we approach or move away from the set targets and objectives.
    This will take corrective actions and thus contribute to the achievement of desired accomplishments.

How does S/R/M coaching work?

S/R/M Coaching applies coaching principles to implementation of Safety and Risk Management projects.
The process is discussed here.

Rather than trying to impose templates on the organisation, the coaching process identifies options for the client and helps to clarify the decision making process.

In order to do this we can rely on our personal know-how in implementing SMS systems. But also we use a varied set of tools that can be deployed as required by the clients situation.

In our experience, what is often left unsaid is the “social” and “soft skill” side of safety management, it is rarely a technical issue, usually SMS issued


Who can use S/R/M Coach?

There are several situations where a S/R/M coach is more cost effective than a consultancy or training organisation.

1) Small organisation

E.g.  a corporate flight department, air taxi, small airline.
Many Safety Managers in small organisations are also flying pilots or quality managers.

Working with a S/R/M coach allows you continuous access to the know-how to set up the SMS effectively.
Training courses are time consuming for a small organisation and do not explain how to effectively apply SMS concepts to small organisations. The high cost per day of a consultant (rates apply per day + travel, HOTAC, etc.) means that their expertise is only applied for a short period, but often follow up is too expensive.
This is where the coaching approach of short, remote sessions is more effective and cheaper and in a busy small organisation, remote sessions can be fit in the work schedule without taking you out of the office.

2) Improve effectiveness of an existing SMS

even if you have set up your SMS already, the requirements are ever more demanding.
New maturity requirements mean your Civil Aviation Authority is going to look more and more towards the performance of the SMS.
Are you confident your SMS will stand up to scrutiny in the near future?

What does this safety performance mean? It will be not enough to simply have the elements of an SMS in place.

You will have to be able to demonstrate that your system is continuously improving the safety performance of your organisation.
In other words, what was OK 2 years ago, is not necessarily going to be accepted a year from now.
A coach collaborates with you to fine tune the SMS, not with big projects and radical changes, but concrete improvements over time.
This will be the only way to achieve lasting change.

 3) Transitioning new staff in the safety role

Working with a coach allows an orderly knowledge transfer and allows for organisational continuity.

In the ideal world you would like to have a handover period for the new staff member to take over the role. Sometimes, in the real world, this is simply not possible. On-the job training can lead sometimes to expensive mistakes. A transition programme can help the new person filling the safety role to get up to speed and develop the extra skills he or she needs while benefitting from the experience of a coach.

4) Implement specific projects

A lot of know-how is needed to effectively set up Flight Data Monitoring, Just Culture programmes, Investigations, Risk Management or even Emergency Response planning.

S/R/M coach can help to set them up right from start, without having to suffer your own trial and error process (which can be costly or lead to large delays). Having a sounding board can also be of tremendous value to evaluate and fine tune your own ideas.

5) Remote locations

For certain situations, the logistics involved to get a consultant on-site make it too expensive.
This is true for organisations at remote island locations or certain locations in South-America and Africa
This should not stop you from getting expert advice.

Thanks to video conferencing and remote presentations, you too can also receive
high quality Safety Risk Management advice for an affordable price!