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Coaching Process

How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?

While coaching processes vary with each coach, a typical approach often begins with a personal interview (either face-to-face or by teleconference call) to assess the individual's current opportunities and challenges, define the scope of the relationship,identify priorities for action, and establish specific desired outcomes. Subsequent coaching sessions may be conducted in person or over the telephone,with each session lasting a previously established length of time. Between scheduled coaching sessions, the individual may be asked to complete assignments that support the achievement of their personal goals. The coach may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles,checklists, assessments, or models, to support the individual's thinking and actions. The duration of the coaching relationship varies depending on the individual's personal needs, preferences, and objectives.   
  • Assessments: A variety of assessments are available to support the coaching process, depending upon the needs and circumstances of the individual. Assessments provide objective information which can enhance the individual's self-awareness as well as awareness of others and their circumstances, provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies, and offer a method for evaluating progress.
  • Concepts,models and principles: A variety of concepts, models and principles drawn from the behavioral sciences,management literature, spiritual traditions and/or the arts and humanities, maybe incorporated into the coaching conversation in order to increase the individual's self-awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, provide new frameworks for looking at opportunities and challenges, and energize and inspire the individual's forward actions.
  • Appreciative approach: Coaching incorporates an appreciative approach. The appreciative approach is grounded in what's right, what's working, what's wanted, and what's needed to get there.Using an appreciative approach, the coach models constructive communication skills and methods the individual or team can utilize to enhance personal communication effectiveness. The appreciative approach incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback in order to elicit the most positive responses from others, and envisioning success as contrasted with focusing on problems. The appreciative approach is simple to understand and employ, but its effects in harnessing possibility thinking and goal-oriented action can be profound.

How long does a coach work with an individual?

The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the individual's or team's needs, preferences and goals. For certain types of focused coaching, 3 to 6months of working with a coach may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams like to work, the frequency of coaching meetings, and financial resources available to support coaching.

Within the partnership, what does the coach do? The individual?

The role of the coach is to provide objective assessment and observations that foster the individual's or team members' enhanced self-awareness and awareness of others, practice astute listening in order to garner a full understanding of the individual's or team's circumstances, be a sounding board in support of possibility thinking and thoughtful planning and decision making, champion opportunities and potential, encourage stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations, foster the shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives, challenge blind spots in order to illuminate new possibilities, and support the creation of alternative scenarios. Finally, the coach maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the coaching profession's code of ethics.

The role of the individual or team is to create the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals, utilize assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others, envision personal and/or organizational success, assume full responsibility for personal decisions and actions,utilize the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives, take courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations, engage big picture thinking and problem solving skills, and utilize the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach to engage effective forward actions.

What does coaching ask of an individual?

To be successful, coaching asks certain things of the individual, all of which begin with intention. Additionally, clients should:
  • Focus - on yourself, the tough questions,the hard truths--and your success.
  • Observation - the behaviors and communications of others.Listening - to your intuition, assumptions,judgments, and to the way you sound when you speak.
  • Self-discipline - to challenge existing attitudes,beliefs and behaviors and to develop new ones which serve your goals in a superior way.
  • Style - leveraging personal strengths and overcoming limitations in order to develop a winning style.
  • Decisive actions - however uncomfortable, and in spite of personal insecurities, in order to reach for the extraordinary.
  • Compassion - for yourself as you experiment with new behaviors, experiences setbacks-and for others as they do the same.
  • Humor - committing to not take yourself so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
  • Personal control - maintaining composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
  • Courage - to reach for more than before, to shift out of being fear based into being in abundance as a core strategy for success, to engage in continual self-examination, to overcome internal and external obstacles.