Access to coaching as a personal development tool in the past, has been reserved for senior managers and directors. However, the pace of change in most organisations, the constant role design and re-engineering and the need to support all employees, means that this powerful personal development tool is being sought to support individuals at all levels.
Coaching is a fashionable and a powerful development tool, and if accessed for the right need can be beneficial for those providing the coaching (the Coach) as well as those receiving (the Client).
Coaching is centred on the individual; the power base for change is believed to be held within and with some support can be released. Coaching can be used for performance issues, but is more generally used to enhance performance, to prepare for career moves and to develop skills and abilities in new areas. Many individuals are taking up personal coaching to help them make changes in their daily life such is the effectiveness of the intervention. Coaching is different to the more traditional forms of training and development in as much as it is geared always to match the individual’s personal needs and preferred learning style. It is therefore custom-made, bespoke and more likely to bring about the change desired by the Client.
There are many models and types of coaching practice, some may have a therapeutic angle, some with an intention of teaching ‘something’ and some, which are more counselling-based. However, whichever model is used, there are six fundamental principles, which need to be applied if the effective result is to be realised.
Principle 1 – The Client is resourceful
Coaching is not about being ‘fixed’. The Client has the resources within themselves to resolve their particular issue. Only they know what to do because they possess of all the essential information, they alone will have to implement any action and ultimately live with the results. The Coach can, and often will, offer useful additional information, but it is up to the Client whether they use it.
Principle 2 – The Coach enables the Clients resourcefulness
The role of the Coach is not advice giving. The giving of advice implies a sense of knowing better than the Client and an obligation to honour that advice, even if it may not be in their best interests.
The Coach should facilitate and encourage the independence of the Client through empowering them to generate and consider the options available.
Principle 3 – Coaching relates to the whole person
Coaching isn’t just about professional issues, or just about personal life. Experience shows that difficulties in either part of a person life are often present in the other; therefore, the issues need to be explored in totality rather than in isolation.
Principle 4 – The Client sets the agenda
There is no set agenda with coaching. This is essentially different from traditional teaching practice where particular learning objectives need to be met. The Coach may have models and programmes for particular issues, but if these are not an issue for the Client, they are not appropriate. The session begins and ends with the Client and their agenda.
Principle 5 – An Equal Relationship
There is no power base. The Coach and Client work together on an equal footing. The relationship is not dependent on the Coach requiring authority and knowledge that the Client does not have. In order to be effective the relationship must be based on mutual respect.
Principle 6 – Coaching is about change
Clients seek coaching because they want something to change and they want to become more effective, whether this is managing a small team or succeeding within a particular sport. The role of the Coach is to help the Client achieve their goal and therefore the client must want to change.
Whichever coaching model is chosen these six values provide the foundation for a successful outcome for the Client and the Coach. If these elements cannot be applied, an alternative development method should be considered.
I am Mary MacRory and I help clients, particularly working women, to shift negative beliefs and thinking by releasing them from being “stuck” and by providing effective coaching and use of holistic therapies
I offer corporate seminars to help with employee engagement, wellness, stress and time management incorporating a holistic approach and boosting energy, satisfaction and productivity.