THE COACHING PROCESSCoaching is the process that enables you to move away from your current position to one where you are performing better, enjoying life more and are developing your potential. Coaching will also enable you to do this more quickly and easily than if you tried to do it on your own.
How it worksMost coaches use a model called 'GROW' to manage their coaching sessions. The letters stand for - Goal, Reality, Options and Will/Way Forward.
The session starts with a brief review of progress we last met and then moves on to agreeing a goal for the current session. This may be part of a bigger goal such as changing career, or be more self-contained, eg to develop a training plan to run 10km in eight weeks.
The next step is to look at where you are now, what you have done so far to achieve your goal, what has worked well and what resources you have to help you achieve the goal. Then it's down to brainstorming ideas on how you can move forward, followed by an assessment of the pros and cons of each option.
The last step is for you to decide exactly what you are going to do, when and how. We will also look at any support that might be needed and work on some ideas to keep you on track should there be any setbacks.
Throughout the session, I will encourage and support you using a series of questions, reflections, observations and some short exercises (eg visualisation) to help move you through the coaching process.
What coaching is (and isn't)It's often hard to see how coaching is different to interventions such as counselling, mentoring or consultancy and how it might benefit you.
Coaching is most often confused with counselling but they are very different. Counselling tends to look backwards to explore and understand events that have caused problems or hurt and where there is some dysfunction or distress in a client's life. Coaching acknowledges the importance of past events but does not explore them in depth, working from the present to the future. It is concerned with performance, setting goals and equipping clients to take specific actions to meet their goal.
Within organisations, mentoring can also look a lot like coaching. A mentor draws on their personal experience to benefit someone less experienced with advice and suggestions. The focus is usually a specific task or project, where the long-term goal is career development. In contrast, coaches work collaboratively with clients and aren't necessarily more experienced. If they are, they put this to one side during coaching. Coaching also tends to be shorter term, involves regular sessions and can cover any subject, with the client setting the agenda and pace.
Finally, consultancy involves an analytical and independent approach to problem solving and the provision of advice and recommendations. As such, consultants are employed for their industry/sector knowledge. Coaching is people-oriented; coaches help clients to raise their self-awareness so they can generate their own options for change. While coaches may have relevant expertise, they are experts in the coaching process rather than the issue discussed.
© All rights reserved Kay Pearson, 2010