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One question remains the subject of ongoing debate: whose goals — those of the coachee or the sponsor organization — should be primarily served by coaching? A middle view stresses the importance of professional contracting in the beginning to ensure a win—win situation all the time. In any case, an effec- tive coach needs to be able to identify and address the issue of competing priorities. Fundamental principles Commonly agreed fundamental principles of coaching are self-responsibility, respect, acceptance, confidentiality, integrity, transparency, flexibility and neu- trality.

However, debate continues about the interpretation and practice of the principles. How should the coach handle possible conflicts of interest? How can the coach be resilient towards external pressures? How does the coach most effectively deal with his or her own blind spots? Coaching requires a coaching contract as the fundamental basis for a good coaching relationship.

This relationship is commonly described as an equal one, neither participant being superior nor subordinate to the other. Can a manager coach a direct report at all?


Coaching techniques The techniques of listening, questioning, clarifying and giving feedback are essential. What other tools are admissible and how these may be applied in coaching, however, is subject to debate.

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What effect do these have on the coaching process and outcomes? Target groups Coaches vary in whom they offer services to. Some coaches are willing to work across issues and sectors, others are more specialist. A debate persists over whether and to what extent coaching is equally applicable to all these target groups, what approaches work best with different issues and whether coaches are more, or less, effective when they attempt to work across all domains.

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Relationship to other services A clear distinction between coaching and other services eg mentoring, therapy, counselling is crucial and is dealt with below. Qualification Listening, questioning and clarifying skills are indispensable for any coach. Depending on each coaching approach, additional coaching skills may also be required. But how far should the coach understand the issues faced by the coachee? Should the coach have management or sector knowledge?

However, that coaching is a professional service provided by professional coaches is commonly accepted. Also, there is no doubt that companies are now in- creasingly starting to make use of coaching forms beyond the one-to-one coach- ing paradigm as well and to ingrain the coaching principles at the workplace. One distinction that is useful to be aware of is between managers who coach their direct reports and managers who demonstrate a coaching leadership style.

The Difference Between Coaching and Consulting [8:01]

While the first category are acting like professional coaches and giving formal sessions, the latter maintain their role as leaders and integrate coaching elements, such as listening, skilful questioning and empowerment, into their everyday methods of leadership. It is advisable to be very reluctant and careful about using the first category due to the inherent, likely conflicts of roles.

Cultural view Coaching extends across various cultures at the global, regional, national, organizational and individual level and is a worldwide phenomenon today. Coaching in a Japanese organization might therefore tend to be slightly directive at first, which may not be the practice in other countries. People may see and define coaching in a certain way simply because of how they came across it for the first time.

The 12 themes illustrate the issues that are part of the ongoing debate as the coaching profession develops. The diagram below adds another seven and encapsulates the core principles as understood in coaching internationally today: Action Blame free Self- belief Awareness Self- Directed Learning Trust Challenge Responsibility Solution focus Figure 1.

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The most well-known framework developed for coaching is the GROW model, which was created by Sir John and his associates, and popularized through his book: Reality what is happening now? Options what could you do? Will what will you do? Figure 1. There is a tendency to move immediately into considering what might be done to achieve the goal; where coaching differs is in the exploration or Reality, by asking exploratory questions like: l What is happening now? If enough Goal and Reality questions are asked, the coachee will usually be- come clear about what can be done, and options for actions will start to present themselves without effort.

The final section is W for Will rather than A for Action because it is about exploring what the coachee can actually commit to doing, rather than ending up with a list of what she or he should or would like to be able to do. The GROW model is flexible and it is acceptable to jump backwards and forwards through its four elements within a session.

It is a robust framework which can be applied to projects and plans as well as conversations. Many other excellent coaching models have since been devised and they are broadly similar to the framework of GROW. There are countries where the locals nod when they mean no, and shake their heads when they mean yes. This is a result of their cultural background, and some big misunderstandings can result if we visit such a country without knowing about this custom. People have different customs across the world, arising from their cultural background, their upbringing or experiences in life.

It would literally take a lifetime for a coach to map all these experiences in enough detail to understand where the coachee has come from and where he or she needs to go next. However, in the space of a session, an effective coach is able to reveal significant points on this map to the coachee and uncover what- ever self-knowledge the coachee needs to see the way forward.

Coaching skills Listening Clearly, the coach will expect to spend a large part of each session listening to the coachee. In human communication, five levels of listening can be identified. Effective coaching only takes place at Levels 4 and 5: 5. Active listening 4. Listening and asking for more 3.

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Giving advice 2. Giving our own experience 1. Waiting for our turn to speak Figure 1. At best, a coach listens at Level 5 throughout every session. This may sound like hard work, but is in fact stimulating and energizing, rather like being in a game and calculating how and when to return the ball. Some examples of questions have already been included in the previous section, because questioning is a helpful element of active listening. They think we should just focus on one thing and do it well. All my businesses have had several threads. I seem to be quite good at knitting different elements together simultaneously to make one strong business.

I realize that now. Diversification is the right thing for me to focus on. I have the ideas, test them out, follow them through, and when the framework is there I put someone in charge to look after the details. Clarifying Clarifying encompasses the skills of: l repeating back in different words; l summarizing; l reflecting back the exact words. Repeating back in different words Repeating back in different words enables both coach and client to understand what has been said.

I got stuck on the telephone, then the train was late so I missed my connection. How are you feel- ing now? Another reason for reflecting back is to ensure that both coach and coachee are on the same cultural map, as we discussed earlier in this section.

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  • Goals, strategies and actions Goals To be effective, a goal must be inspiring, challenging, measurable and have a deadline. A goal with such qualities emanates a magnetism that pulls the coachee towards it. A goal featuring the qualities specified above will embed itself into the subconscious and, through the RAS, we will start to notice pointers along the way that we might otherwise have missed. People frequently find that once they know what they want and to find out is often the reason they hire a coach in the first place , extraordinary coinci- dences seem to occur that bring their goal closer.

    An effective coach ensures that all the essential groundwork is in place to achieve the goal, always remembering that it is the coachee who must decide what that groundwork will consist of. Strategies act like a ladder to take the coachee up to the goals.