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Coaching is Bringing Team CONNECT Together

CONNECT employees were reminded of the power of coaching during the second cohort of coaching training last month.

Juhree Zimmerman, master certified coach, spent Thursday, May 9 with the staff at CONNECT Lake Country and Tuesday, May 14 with the CONNECT Langley staff. Zimmerman, an RN, has been coaching for 15 years internationally in the public and private sectors. "A coaching culture is one that is open and permissive of people's idiosyncrasies. It's inquisitive." Zimmerman says her goal with CONNECT is for coaching to empower residents, their families and employees.

Carly Moore, a Lake Country front-line worker, has attended several of Zimmerman's workshops and sings the praises of how coaching has positively impacted her life. "It really solidified for me at work that these are not my problems," says Moore. "I'm here to inspire and to help people find that eternal flame within them

She says both feedback from residents and her own assessment of her work indicates the coaching is successful. Residents tend to buy-in to her coaching because solutions are on their own terms. "I used to take it personally when a resident wasn't seeing results right away. Coaching has taken the stress out of my work and made me happier overall because I have learned to let go of my own expectations."

Carly says the coaching sessions bring staff closer together through laughter and sharing, but she recommends the sessions be no longer than three hours so everyone can actively listen the whole time.

Melissa Neef, a front-line worker from CONNECT Langley, says the coaching refresher is incredibly helpful. "Coaching has made a big difference at CONNECT. It completely improved our communication with one another," says Neef. "Life gets busy and it's difficult to really stick to the coaching methods we are learning, so it's great to have a refresher." She says she has seen countless examples of the efficacy of coaching. "It works because coaching is about helping others solve their own problems without interjecting your opinion. People respond to that – both residents and co-workers."

Patti Flaherty, executive director of CONNECT, says coaching has made a tangible difference to the way employees and residents interact with one another at CONNECT.

"This coaching model fits into the CONNECT way of being so perfectly. It's all about respect and guiding each other to solve problems and positive relationship building. Coaching is here to stay at CONNECT."