An extensive overview on coaching

To successfully achieve one's life goals or work objectives takes persistence and staying on track. Coaches provide constructive feedback, support, encouragement and motivation to their clients to improve self-awareness and stimulate personal growth! Here's what my internet research show up:

What is coaching
Definition: Coaching is a time-limited function of applying techniques, which enables the client to untap their full potential in life or work through assessment, analysis and reflection of their knowledge, experience, personal style, maturity and ambitions and to take action - amplifying learning and creativity, improving competence. The relationship between coach and client is based on a shared commitment to achieving results, open-mindedness and mutual respect. Core: Coaching is concerned with the practical issues of setting goals and achieving results within specific time-scales. Coach: A coach is highly motivated primary thelp their client succeed and therefore must be able to be objective and apply and understand a variety of techniques, processes and skills appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place. Style: Development may be done in facilitative or directive style to suit client's personal needs and learning styles. Its not: Coaching is not a therapeutic intervention to resolve underlying issues that cause problems with motivation, self-esteem and job performance. Coaches do not 'teach'. Sourcing a coach: It is essential to choose a coach who can supply you with the type and level of service you require - consider the following factors: o Rapport: There must be strong rapport between the coach and the client. o Objective: Choose a coach best suited for what the client is trying to achieve. o Motivated: The coach must be creative and energetic and immerse themselves into the process. o Track record: The coach must have a track record of satisfied clients. o Skills-transfer: The coach must be competent in performing the skills they need to transfer. o Communication: The coach must demonstrate good interpersonal and communication skills. o Internal/External: The business has to determine whether it would be most useful having internal or external coaching. Service delivery: Coaches offer their services in a structured manner, using combinations of one-on-one or group sessions, face-to-face, telephonic and email sessions or observing while the client works. Coaching services may be offered in a professional or philanthropic role. Format design: The coach ascertains which interventions would be needed in order to design a format, content and timescale. Sometimes it's useful to have a third party help with designing the format.

Formal agreement: A simple legal contract sets ground rules pertaining to the coaching relationship, format, content, timescale, schedule, costs - including extras or expenses, payment terms, confidentiality and copyright, etc. so that both parties know their rights and obligations. It demonstrates that the coach is a professional and offers both parties protection and peace of mind ...and this makes it much easier to get paid. Both parties must sign the contract before commencing. Coaching practises: Practices range from independent one-man operations to large consultancies. Coaching vs Mentoring: These two approaches are complementary and there are many similarities between them, as well as many differences. Mentees follow in the path of a senior colleague (mentor) who can pass on knowledge, experience and open doors to otherwise out-of-reach opportunities. Coaches do not generally have direct experience in their client's role, unless the coaching is skills focused. o Mentoring: Traditionally mentoring is a highly effective structure for guidance by senior employees of hand-holding juniors to become as knowledgeable as the mentor, ensuring that services are delivered seamlessly, transferring key skills, procedures, culture, politics and is on-hand to answer questions. Another mentoring system is peer-based 'buddy' systems to share and develop technical expertise.

Types of coaching
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Life coach: These coaches offer their clients a highly supportive and motivating one-on-one coaching environment to explore what they want, how to actualise their life aspirations and fulfil their needs - allowing the client the personal space they need to grow and develop. Business coach: This is similar tlife coaching, but is conducted within the context and the focus determined by the business. Assist in identifying a network of alliances to achieve goals. May also creatively manage the transfer of skills and knowledge, training, facilitating, counselling, networking throughout the business. Managerial coach: Effective managerial coaches are able to delegate more, to create a sense of purpose within the team and to motivate the performance of others, free up time, focus on the most important tasks. Coaching as a business structure:  Plan: To ensure coherent effort and success, create a robust plan for incorporating a coaching business structure.  Integrate: Personal, team and business objectives must be integrated and clearly understood.  Training: Provide advanced coaching training to all managers and key staff with the talent for developing others.  Structures: Replace management structures with flatter, more efficient coaching structures.  Daily activity: Teach all staff how to be coached and how to make coaching a daily activity.  Focus: Focus on improving competence, making just-in-time sources of advice available and creating a supportive environment.

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Ideas: Share strategic information with key staff coaches early on to gain improved ideas.  Improvements: External coaches can be utilised to assess feedback on the improvement of the coaching structures.  Rewards: Provide recognition and rewards to committed coaches. Skills coach: Skills coaching focuses purely on the development of specific competencies required by a specific individual, based on an assessment, to perform specific, well-defined functions at a pace that suits the changing needs of the business. Skills coaching offers a ‘just-in-time' approach to learn fast changing job functions while you do the work and addresses barriers to learning new skills. Some skills cannot be properly transferred with training courses. Change coach: The coach assists the business or client to deal with change. Job coach: The purpose may be to maximise potential, boosting performance, improving interpersonal relationships, manage career or role changes and achieving job satisfaction.  High-flyers: Coaches work with high profile industry leaders supporting them to become stronger and more effective.  Directors: Staff who are promoted to board level may require improvement in skills like strategic thinking and interpersonal skills.  Management: Many businesses fund one-on-one coaching programmes for all senior and middle management to learn to be a positive role model.  Executive: The coach is an ideal sounding board and will facilitate behavioural and attitudinal change. Executives need to get feedback from co-workers, learn how to enlist support and understand what is required of them tbe effective.  Teamwork: When teams learn how to operate cohesively, the results can be phenomenal improvement in communication and cooperation. Workshops: Clients and business can benefit by attending once-off coaching workshops to address specific challenges. At the bottom of the page is list of topics, which are typically addressed.

Benefits of coaching
Growth: Tailored programmes are embraced as rapid personal growth opportunities and ensures that clients become continually more competent, confident and selfreliant. Balance: Coaching achieves a greater balance between work and personal life and the time taken for reflection is valued. Perspective: A coach brings fresh perspectives, ideas and insights and clients can bounce ideas off them whenever they want. Commitment: The coach assists the client in making a strong commitment to empowering themselves, to taking action, to understand their potential, to learn and grow.

Responsible: Clients learn to rely on themselves and take greater responsibility for their success and empowering themselves personally and professionally. Unconditional: Coaches maintain an unconditional positive regard and are at all times supportive and non-judgemental of client's views, lifestyle and aspirations. Enthusiasm: The coach is a very focussed and enthusiastic member of the client's team and this spirit is contagious. Motivated: Clients enjoy the coach's personal attention, support and being empowered and consequently become highly motivated to achieve their goals. Confidential: The coach is someone without an agenda or prejudice and this creates a safe environment for the client to express themselves openly. Relationships: A combination of information about the clients and about their relationships, enables them to take corrective action with unhealthy relationships. Confrontation: Staff are able to engage in constructive and positive confrontation and feedback. Productivity: Coaching makes clients feel valued and ensures greater involvement, commitment, effectiveness, productivity, professionalism and loyalty, which is fundamental to business success. Staff retention: In business with a span coaching culture there is a smaller staff turnover, because staff are promoted inside the business which saves lot of time and cost in training new staff. Performance: Investment in coaching is a win-win situation for both businesses and staff where both make the most of their potential. Rewarding: Staff enjoy being recognised and rewarded for activity sharing knowledge.

What does the coach do?
Exploration: The coach observes, listens and asks questions to facilitate the exploration of strengths, weaknesses, needs, motivations, desires, skills... thought processes, experience, maturity, knowledge, communication style, career path of the client, business objectives and how the client is viewed by others to identify goals. Aspirations: From the outset, the coach applies powerful examination techniques to design a programme aimed at achieving specific measurable benefits and aspirations. Assessment: The coach will assess which areas require immediate attention and uncover problems you need to address. Setting goals: Support and encourages the client in the creation of goals, identifying solutions and breaking them down into manageable, measurable actions. Action plan: The coach will help you develop a strategy for how you can better manage specific problems, work-flow, scheduling, communications and develop a long-term action plan for growth in all areas. Report back: You will report on a regular basis to your coach on how you are progressing with your plans. Support: Provide support through a change of role brought about by mergers and acquisitions Constructive: The coach listens actively, being a sounding-board for the client's experiences and providing constructive feedback.

Understanding: The coach develops a sound understanding of the client and knows when to challenge, when to stretch and when to guide. Challenge: The coach challenges the client's ideas, behaviours and attitudes in an objective, constructive, intensively supportive environment to develop critical thinking skills. Role-playing: Coaches often use role-playing to prepare you for achieving your objectives in discussions with others. Coming across: Getting something done may depend on influencing others, rather than directing them. Therefore clients may have to adapt how they come across to others. Follow-up: In follow-up sessions the coach assess your progress with goals and incorporating strategies. Dependencies: Coaches actively discourage unhealthy dependencies on the coaching relationship. Evaluate: Coaches evaluate whether coaching objectives are being reached, whether the relationship is successful and the client is achieving their goals, whether the client receives the appropriate level of service and identify where adjustments are needed. Adapting: Coaches help staff taccept and adapt to changes in a manner consistent with their personal values and goals. Measurable: Coaches generate measurable learning and performance outcomes

Here are some examples of coaching workshops topics:
Balanced life Goal setting and achieving Action planning How to get things done Maximize your potential Grow your business How to stay motivated Appreciate the challenge Making decisions Dispute resolution Effective leadership and management Learning Art of effective communication Get the results you want Team building Creativity and enthusiasm Entrepreneurial spirit Calming your mind Marketing How to build a network of buyers Benjine Gerber, Author, Systems developer benjine@itemporium.co.za www.self-educate.com

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