DIFFERENT STYLES OF COACHING
There are many different approaches to coaching depending on the needs and intended outcomes of the coaching process. This article offers a few examples with a short summary to explain the format, content and application. Of course the best coaching is the combination that best serves the needs of the client. The summaries below are therefore to indicate the breadth and depth of possibilities and client experiences.
I use a blend of the following according to the client or the circumstance…
1. Psychodynamic (past – unconscious – influences on current thinking, feeling and believing and the context of person, role, circumstance)
2. Cognitive (thinking about situations, and having behaviour strategies, habits and routines)
3. Solution Focused (intention, aims, goals, methods and approaches)
4. Person Cantered Approach (understanding and exploring current thinking, feeling and being)
5. Existential Coaching (exploring sense of being, meaning, place and purpose and inner wisdom)
6. Gestalt (The focus on hear-and-now using the coachees words, meanings and experiences help understand how they are perceiving and why they are acting.)
7. Ontological Coaching (Coaching in language, emotions and body – Moods(Fear, Anger, Surprise) Attitudes (Acceptance or Non-Acceptance) and Language (Assertions-past, Assessments-present Declarations-future) affect our identity and our outcomes.
Below I will outline some detail about the approaches I use, according the clients topis, needs and preferences.
Our stories of home, growing-up, relationships and work help us understand what has shaped us into who we are and key memories, thoughts, feelings, and aspirations help understand the emotions, thoughts and actions that drive us.
Isolating and examining each thought, feeling, sensation or action can help gain control of how each effects the other, provide clarity on cause and effect and relieve anxiety or confusion. This helps us gain confidence when dealing with challenged or making choices.
Not everyone wants to explore the past to understand WHY in order to identify strategies for WHAT and HOW to develop. For those that value introspection using psychodynamic coaching may be the right approach.
The benefit of better self understanding, dispassionate observation and thoughtful reflection is better control of our feelings, thoughts and actions to help us respond rather than react and provide better outcomes for ourselves and others.
For more information about approaches to coaching and what may be best for you get in touch.
How we think affects how we behave and faulty thinking (eg mind reading or fortune telling) and wrong assumptions (eg perfectionism or all-or-nothing) or unhelpful beliefs (eg blame, guilt or feeling an imposter) can have an adverse effect.
Cognitive coaching offers a variety of structured models to analyse the difference between who we ARE and what we DO. For example failing a driving test means I need to improve my skills not that I am a bad person!
Coaching helps the move from Performance Inhibiting Thinking (PIT) to Performance Enhancement Thinking (PET) typically using frameworks like SPACE, CLARITY, ABCDEF as practical step-by-step means to think, try and learn better approaches.
The THINKING + DOING approach is future orientated and goal focused, easily adapted and applied in many scenarios including self-coaching and teams.
LIST OF MODELS
SPACE = Social, Physical/Psychological, Actions, Cognition, Emotion
CLARITY = Context, Life Event, Actions, Reactions, Images and Identify, Thoughts, Your future choice
ABCDEF = Activity (event), Belief, Consequence, Dispute (change belief), Effective new response, Future focus
NO3 SOLUTION FOCUSED
Solution Focused coaching focuses on the current actions and future goals rather than the past.
Knowing the problem does not necessarily help us fix the problem. For example: If you crashed your car fixating on when, how and why you crashed is not helpful whereas a more positive approach may be: What are the many different ways we can travel to work?
The focus is therefore more practical than theory and more about what works than what does not. Usually the client is the expert and the coach role is facilitation (to ask rather than tell) using models like PEEP, and MAPS
The aim is co-ownership of the process with the goal set by the client and measured with questions like: What does success look like? And On a scale of 1 to 10 how are we doing? The emphasis is on the client to experiment to see what is practical and works.
Sometimes this is achieved by an insightful question: If A is bad and B is good, describe the difference and what actions and resources would achieve that change?
This approach can be used for skills, performance and development. The aim is self directed learning with each session ending with the question: Do we need to meet again or do you feel like you have done what you needed to do?
LIST OF MODELS
PEEP = Preferred outcome, Exceptions (when is this not a problem), Existing resources, Progress so far
MAPS = Multiple options, Asking how (action) not why (philosophical), Problems into possibilities, SMART steps
SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound
PDCA = Plan,Do,Check, Act
DMAIC = Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control
GROW = Goal, Reality, Options, Will
NO4 PERSON CENTERED APPROACH
Do you ever feel you just want to talk? To be heard? To have someone listen? To express our ideas, thoughts and feelings and clarify your goals.
The person centered approach puts the client in charge and the coach listens with empathy and understanding. Occasionally they may seek clarification but the focus is on active listening rather than asking and never telling. The client decides the discussion and the direction. This may at times appear like counseling rather than coaching.
This is part of the Self Determination Theory: That people will grow like acorns into oaks provided they have the right nurture and care. They do not need to be fixed, they just need to be supported with empathy and regard. The emphasis is not WHAT happens but HOW it happens. Typically the coach echoes the clients inner voice and helps them hear, understand and make sense of their own thoughts.
The coach role is to support, not to direct, tell or advise. It is not about fixing or healing it is about therapeutic, empathetic and supportive listening.
Coaching is a process that aims to improve performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future. Good coaches believe that the individual always has ideas and opportunities to resolve whatever is holding them back but understands that they may need help to define their goals, set their path, and achieve their success. Coaching is about listening, reflecting, asking questions and unlocking YOUR potential.
Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.’ Mentoring is development driven, looking not just at the professional’s current job function but beyond, taking a more holistic approach to career development. Mentoring is non-evaluative, while coaching is based on measuring performance change. Due to the personal nature of mentoring, a mentor will more often than not draw on their personal experiences and expertise to help their mentee. This could be in the form of sharing a story that taught them a valuable lesson, or a challenge they overcame in their career.
Tim HJ Rogers
Ex-Athlete, now Change Practitioner, ICF Coach, IoD Mentor, Mediation Practitioner
Helping people and organisations achieve their goals.
ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor, Mediator, Management Consultant, Change Practitioner Mob 447797762051 Tim@ThinkingFeelingBeing.com Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com
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