Coaching is an ongoing and shared activity, a two-way communication process that focuses on the main issues in your life that the organisation and/or you want to develop.
In summary we find it best to:
- Start from where you actually are in performance terms not where you ought to be – this sounds very obvious and yet quite often it doesn’t happen
- Build on your personal strengths and aim to develop other relevant attributes
- Have regular contact which includes feedback
- Be person rather than task driven
- Be a joint process between the coach and you – once more you may think this is obvious
The environment in which the coaching takes place is significantly important to the success of coaching. It needs to be supportive for coaching to be successful. And, of course, you and your mindset are key!
Some assessment tools and techniques may be used: for instance,
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
- 16PF5 personality assessment
- Belbin team roles
- Learning styles
- Organisational constellations
Helen Harrison UK likes to ensure that the organisation (if applicable), the individual being coached and I all come to an agreement on at least the following issues:
- that the individual and I believe we can work productively together
- what the organisation (if applicable) and the individual want to gain from the coaching
- whether to use any psychometric assessment tools to heighten the coachee’s understanding of him/herself and the potential consequences of his/her preferred ways
- whether it would be productive for me to meet agreed working colleagues, direct reports and/or other work contacts to gain feedback on how the coachee is perceived (gaining examples of behaviours to support the perceptions). This develops the coachee’s awareness about how his/her working style is perceived. Where organisations use them, 360º feedback processes can be used
- how long each coaching session will be – quite often around two hours when face-to-face and one hour when over the phone
- the frequency of coaching sessions – this is usually between two to four weeks
- when a progress review will take place – typically this is part of the sixth session
- the confidentiality and other standards within which the coaching will take place
A typical coaching session
At the beginning of each session, we would discuss and agree what you want to cover during the session. This may be confirming what was previously agreed or changing priorities due to changed circumstances. At the end, if not already organised, we would agree a date and time for the next session.
The body of the session typically includes parts or all of the following:
- The coachee brings specific events that have taken place, or going to take place, to discuss how s/he may have handled, or could handle, the situation to gain a specific result
- The discussion can include listening, asking challenging questions, raising awareness, clarifying, linking different situations to identify similarities and differences, responding to requests for suggestions, giving examples, explaining relevant techniques and background principles, and facilitating
- I use my own experiences of you as an additional source of information
- We each bring specific information for discussion which meets the agreed objectives of the coaching
- If MBTI and/or FIRO-B are used, it normally takes one session to discuss the contents and the potential development points possible to make from the contents eg areas of strength in particular situations, potential areas for development in other situations, impact of diversity (differences in working style etc) and what may reduce the potential negative impacts and enhance the positive. The material is referred to in other meetings as and when relevant
- Discuss and agree what is going to take place before the next session.