Many different activities get labelled coaching in today’s environment. Today’s post shares four foundations of the coaching approach. Whether we are coaching others as leaders, or work a an external or internal coach, these four foundations ground the variety of approaches which fall in the category of coaching.
1. Accountability – accountability is at the core of any coaching process. Coaching is not just about having a conversation, it is about taking action. Coaching is an approach where the person being coached is responsible for taking action. Accountability in coaching does not mean telling someone what to do. If the person being coached does not want to be in the drivers seat than coaching as a modality is probably not the right fit or solution for that conversation.
2. Goals – Coaching is about getting results. Each coaching conversation will focus on a goal – articulated or not. Perhaps someone wants to become a better public speaker or more effective at managing their range of emotions at work. In coaching, It can be good practice to start the conversation by asking what the goals are for the coaching conversation. You’ll want to also connect these goals with the goals in the bigger picture. Finally, best practice is to wrap up by asking how did we do on our goals today.
3. Coaching is not about fixing. There often is a misperception that coaching is to “fix people’ or a remedial approach. In fact, the coaching philosophy is grounded in the ability of each person being coached as being resourceful (able to effect change), and creative (able to come up with their own solutions). The role of the coach is to help the person being coached discover these answers or connect with others who can help them do that. Most coaching models are grounded in an appreciative standpoint.
4. Coaching is not a one off conversation. Coaching is not about a one-off conversation. If supports a process of change which takes placer over time. The ability for the coach (internal, eternal or leader ) to circle back and check in is critical.
While there can be many different models of coaching, and different contests (i.e. individual coaching, team coaching, group coaching) most all are rounded in these coaching philosophies. If not, what is probably being labelled coaching, might not be. For more information check out the International Coach Federation, the global body governing professional coaching. You can find them at www.coachingfederation.org.
2023 update – In recent years ICF has updated their core coaching competencies, streamlining them to 8. We explore these in depth in our Mentor Coaching Groups. Also launched in late 2021 were the Team Coaching Competencies which is the foundation of our Coaching Supervision Groups for Team Coaches. If you are a coach and are looking for supervision support, I hope you might consider joining us for these group calls once a month (usually 1st Thursday of every month from 12 – 130pm ET). Learn more and join us at Group Coaching Essentials.
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