- December 12, 2015
- Posted by: Reena Saxena
- Category: Thinking Maps
What is ‘coaching’ ?
Is it training? No. Training is imparting knowledge, andragogy, helping adults develop skills through observation and experience.
Is it mentoring ? No. Mentoring is letting a person below your stature benefit from your knowledge and experience, and being there with the mentee, in his/her journey towards success.
I see the picture of an onion, cabbage or decorative lights in my mind. No… this is not for a table or party decoration. I see the human mind, being peeled layer by layer, revealing all its strengths, weaknesses, fears and dreams. I see a light moving through different parts of the brain, illuminating hitherto unknown and unseen aspects. The connections created by this process, lead to the formation of a new picture. The thinkers find the solutions or insights they were looking for. These would not be of much value, without application and implementation. The learner needs to reach the goal within a specified time, within his resources and without any damaging impact on others.
“Enter the Coach” in the picture. He is the Handholder taking the learner ( hereafter referred to as ‘coachee’) through the mental process, by asking relevant and leading questions, and facilitating pathways of thought. He is also
the Monitor to ensure that you act on the intentions in a defined framework of time and resources, helping you to revise goals and plans if needed. The two copper wires in an electric cable illuminate the space around you. Reverse them, and energy gradually dissipates. If the radio waves in the sky are picked up by a receiver with a matching frequency, it creates soulful music. If the frequencies do not match, it creates unpleasant sounds. The coach facilitates the harmony and unity of all related elements, to ensure delivery of the desired outcomes.
What the Coach is not ? The Coach is not an advisor, not a mentor, not a trainer, not an educator, not a spiritual guru. The Coach is totally non-judgemental, refrains from expressing his views or opinions on anything. If the coach has a story, that can help putting a framework on the coachee’s thoughts, he will narrate it. But if the story is identical or contradictory to the coachee’s experience, it will not be used. The Coach is only a facilitator, who puts a structure to your thought pattern.
How ? By asking questions, by creating varied mental pictures, by reframing paradigms, by paraphrasing your answers to re-confirm and emphasize. The language would by and large be as follows :
- I am curious to know …
- Is that what you are thinking about ?
- Would you help me in reframing this ?
- What do you think will enhance …. ?
- What do you think can be an obstruction ?
- Can you think of any other resources to support your goals ?
Then, why does a person need a coach ? They need a companion to travel with them, and take them to their destination with minimum interruptions. They need someone to ensure that intentions are converted to action plans, action plans to time-bound activity plans in a logical pattern, after taking into consideration all the external and internal resources and impact on the immediate environment. They need somebody to help them develop on their innate strengths, and utilize available resources. They help in re-inventing a person.
Every person needs to overcome some cognitive biases :
- The Escalation of Commitment
The tendency for people to continue to support previously unsuccessful endeavors.
- Hyperbolic Discounting
The tendency to accept a smaller gain in the short term, rather than wait for a bigger gain. The “ A bird in the hand is better than nine in a bush” syndrome.
- Reactance or Rebellion
Reactance is the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice. It may not always be in your best interest.
- Herd mentality
Herd mentality is the tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviors of the majority to feel safer and to avoid conflict. This may be detrimental to your own interest.
- Self-fulfilling Prophecy
Self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results, which confirm existing attitudes. One can never break new ground with this.
- Gamblers’ fallacy
The Gambler’s fallacy is the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality, they are not.
Coaching helps in elimination of these fallacies, to reveal a clear path of action.
TYPES OF COACHING
- Executive Coaching
This could be for the star performers to help them deliver better, the ones in a transition phase, the key executives to manage a crucial project, or anybody the management views as suitable.
- Business Coaching
This is for helping the executives hone their skills, and eliminate all mental roadblocks for high achievements in business. Applicable to all business heads.
- Career Coaching
This is to help employees smoothly glide over various phases of their career.
- Leadership Coaching
To help leaders evolve appropriate leadership styles.
- Life Coaching
This is for individuals who think they need a guide and partner, in transitional or life-changing situations.
- Health and Wellness Coaching
This includes health, fitness as well as spirituality development.
skills needed to be a competent coach
The skills that a competent coach will need, other than a professional certification will be :
- A good sales strategy
- Effective networking
- Emotional intelligence
- Persuasive skills
- Awareness of the Johari Window Concept – the four quadrants on how we see ourselves, and how the world sees us.
- Awareness of Learning Theories – Kolb’s Experiential Learning, Stages of Learning, Multiple Intelligence theory, Classical Theory of Learning, Bloom’s Hierarchy and Sensory Learning Preferences.
- Application of the learning theories to build a better connect with the client, and facilitating his thinking without advice from the coach. The difference between coaching and training is always to be borne in mind, but the learning matters.
- Deciphering body language.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Refraining from giving advice at any step in the coaching process.
THE COACHING PROCESS
The coaching process broadly consists of the following steps, though the methodologies can be modified as per the need of the situation.
- Identification of the desired outcome
- Spelling out details of the desired outcome.
- Checking commitment level.
- Understanding steps taken so far.
- Identifying the internal and external blocks
- Identifying the greatest individual strength and the external resources.
- Understanding the impact of success and failure on self and others.
- Visualization exercise.
- Action Plan.
- Chunking down steps in the action plan, with a time frame.
- Responsibility and Accountability
- Checking commitment level to execute the action plan.
Summing it up as follows :
Thoughts à Words à Intentions à Actions à Positive Habits à Success
IS EVERYBODY COACHABLE ?
No. The giver cannot give, unless the receiver is willing to receive. Certain people are not open to accepting suggestions, or acting on a plan. Some are in the coaching session, since it is sponsored by the company or someone else. The coach can lead a horse to the water, not force him to drink it. Non-coachability is mostly due to the following reasons :
- Seeking validation of their beliefs
- Seeking sympathy for their victimization by others.
- A previous experience which did not work
Both the parties are at liberty to terminate the coaching arrangement, if they see no benefit ensuing from it.