What is Coaching
Coaching, in the business context, is about helping an individual to firstly identify personal, career or business goals, and then identify and prioritise the appropriate actions that will enable them to achieve their goals resulting in the desired outcomes.
Coaching concentrates on where the individual is now, and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future. The coaching focuses on the individual’s personal and organisational life as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal change management.
How does Coaching work
There are five main steps in the coaching cycle:
- Goal Setting – The coach works with the coachee to identify what specifically they are looking to start; stop; continue doing
- Reality Check – The next step is to help the coachee understand their current context, how is it supporting or inhibiting them achieving their goals
- Exploring Options – The coach works with the coachee to explore all the options and approaches available to the coachee to achieve their goals. The coachee priorities the options and agrees on which ones they will action
- Taking action – The coach works with the coachee to identify who or what support they require as they put the options in to action
- Evaluate Outcomes – The coach checks in with the coachee to see how they are progressing with regard to achieving their goals.
The coach will guide the coachee back and forth through the different steps of the process as appropriate.
Who is Coaching for
- Leadership coaching – ideal for someone who is or has recently stepped up to a more senior roles and is looking to improve their leadership skills and impact, leading change, effective strategy deployment etc.
- Business performance coaching – ideal for people who are delivering results through others, building high performing teams and advanced skills development
- Individual development needs – ideal for someone who wants to change a specific behaviour; improve self awareness and emotional intelligence; is transitioning to a new role; is returning to work etc.
- As part of a Leadership development programme to embed new knowledge and skills, reinforce behavioural change and accelerate the development of high potential employees.
- Team coaching – working with an intact team who are at an given stage in the team formation cycle i.e forming, storming, norming, performing, to enable them to move forward and sustain performance
- Executive Coaching - working with individuals who fill senior roles within an organisation, often having to lead in complex systems, the focus is on organisational performance or development, and usually has a personal component to it. The coach accelerates the leader's progress by providing greater focus and awareness of possibilities leading to more effective choices.
THE COACHING PROCESS
For first time coachees, typically they will meet with the coach three to six times, for anything from 30 – 90 minutes at a time. The coaching process generally takes place over a number of weeks or months, depending on the time frame set by the coachee to achieve their goals.
Contracting with a Coachee
The coachee has an initial matching meeting with the proposed coach to share what they are looking to achieve through the coaching process and so get a sense of each other and decide if they would like to work together. This meeting is not included in the coaching hours, and is designed purely to ensure that they coachee and coach are comfortable to work together.
Duration and frequency of coaching sessions
- Typically, a coachee will sign up at a specific number of coaching hours. The coach and the coachee decide how best to use this time over the course of the coaching relationship.
- Generally, the first meeting will be the longest, from 60 – 120 mins. During this meeting the coach explores with the coachee their goals from the coaching, the context within which they need to achieve the goals and start looking at and agreeing to actions that they want to take.
- The coach will work with the coachee to agree the frequency and duration of the follow-up sessions. They will work to keep the coachee motivated and on track to achieve their goals. It’s up to the coachee to take the actions they have signed up to.
Tools and Questionnaires
The coach will often have a range of different tools that they can share with the coachee to help with their action taking. The coach may also recommend the use of a personality questionnaire or similar. Where there is a cost associated with any of these tools, the coach will share this with the coachee before proceeding with the use of the questionnaire.
The coach will check in with the coachee at the end of the agreed coaching process to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach.