Coaching Methodology and How to Coach

So last time I shared with you what Leadership Coaching is, but how does that translate into real English? Well there are many schools of thought when it comes to coaching and about a gazillion schools/faculties offering coaching accreditation or qualification.

For the textbook answer to this question see Wiki here failing that here’s what I do:

  • I like to coach my clients face-to-face and preferably over a period of time. If face-to-face isn’t possible Skype works brilliantly, or a phone as a last resort. I like to see the whites of my clients eyes and it’s important to build rapport.
  • A Coaching Programme typically begins with an exploratory chat (either face-to-face or by telephone) to assess your current situation, define the scope of the relationship, identify priorities for action, and establish specific desired outcomes.
  • My coaching is appreciative in approach.  This means I work on what you want, rather than what you don’t want.  I will help you to identify this and explore what you need to get there.
  • When coaching I listen, observe and feedback, customising my approach to individual needs and helping my Clients to focus on something specific and tangible to them – that’s the “goal” that Coaches talk about…
  • I don’t use jargon or namby-pamby psycho-babble as favoured by some coaches. For a start they’re much better at it than me and I’d rather my Clients got the best out of our time together rather than be confused!  Besides all that I need to pay attention on what the Client’s saying!
  • Controversially and going against many schools of thought, if I’m asked specifically to tell a Client how I think something should/could be done, I will tell them…. Only after I’m sure they’ve exhausted all their own avenues for solving their dilemma and being sure that they know this is my version of success and not theirs! I’ve been told this is most helpful as often people get stuck in the detail without a clear way out and providing them with tools is part of the journey.
  • When coaching I always provide resources, structure and support to elicit and enhance the skills and creativity my Clients already have. At the end of each meeting, which usually lasts anything up to an hour and a half, there’s always a wrap-up and an action plan is written up by my Client which we’ll use to form part of the start of our next meeting.
  • Between Coaching sessions it’s likely you’ll have specific actions to achieve that support the achievement of your goals.
  • I like to use Personality profiling tools such as SHLs OPQ 32 or Thinking Styles which provides objective information which can enhance your understanding of yourself and your preferences.  They also assist you towards establishing an awareness of others and their circumstances, so that you can benchmark people-specific goals and actionable strategies.

How I what I do is a mix of different models, concepts and principles drawn from varying disciplines and experience such as ICF (International Coach Federation) accredited Leadership Coaching Training, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), Clean Language, management literature and also experiential and practical coaching expertise.

So what do you think about Coaching from what we’ve discussed so far?  How is it different from a simple conversation?  What do you think about coaches who fail to provide feedback?

Next week we’ll look at some of the Benefits of Coaching