I recently came across a paper by Angelina Rosha and was amazed by the fact that coaching is taking over many other areas we believe not to be connected with coaching. And after reading the paper I had this burning question: is coaching taking over?
The word etiology comes from the name of an Hungarian village called Kocs where it is said the best carriages in the 16th century were produced. Later the word ‘coaching’ was known as a play of words but often associated with supporting university students and academic attainment. Later the word ‘coaching’ as we know today came to be known in the 20th century by the hand of Timothy Galleys (1974) book The Inner Game of Tennis and John Whitmore’s Coaching for performance (1988) presenting the G.R.O.W. model.
As the activity of coaching spread across different areas – two coaching streams came to fruition: one, goal oriented coaching aiming at relatively immediate results, and another on personal development coaching, which is focused on coachee’s long-term deeper understanding and self-awareness. This explains why we have such a diversified universe of institutions teaching coaching and more recently certifying professionals. Likewise, professional coaches come from all paths of life enriching the field of coaching and its momentum towards society.
In short, coaching was a deductive and goal oriented intervention that later evolved from a directive to non-directive intervention with a myriad of approaches to consider (Rosha, 2013). The question is: will it take over all other areas of targeted intervention? The comparison between all types of intervention explains visually that coaching can indeed embrace all. So what do you think?
Following my previous post on ‘Is coaching taking over?’ I decided to explore the differences and commonalities of coaching towards consultancy, counseling, mentoring, mediation, therapy, teaching and training. So let’s see if coaching is taking over…
Coaching and Mentoring refer to what we are supposed to achieve making clear the current and future state of things. Coaching bridges the gap allowing the coachee (client) to find their own way and is based on present and work related issues. Mentoring is about assistance, guidance, advice in the assumption that leading by example and asking the mentored to follow his steps success ensues. Mediation is interestingly different. It is a process (people, process, problem) wherein you have at least two parties and a mediator. The mediator identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives, enlighten both parties about the consequences of those options and then creates a common agenda of consensual actions and connects them to desired outcomes. This translates into win-win agreements. Mediation is focused on resolving conflict, coaching starts with the individual and in that assuming the coachee has the potential to prevent the conflict to happen. Therefore, “same, same but different” (in aims).
Consultancy and coaching have a similar focus – business. Notwithstanding, coaching is focused on the development of the individual and his/her skills themselves whilst consultancy strives for providing answer to burning problem or question. Consultancy – training blended both and placed corporate training between consultancy and teaching. Teaching and skills training are activities aiming at transferring knowledge through a sequence of activities and interactions. Some more interactive and agile other unilaterally communicated to people who are expected to learn and demonstrate – trainee or students. Coaching on the other hand provides support to enhance coachee skills and inspire him to maximize his/her personal and professional potential. Soft-skills training is indeed closer to coaching. Nevertheless, a primary assumption that sets coaching apart is that the coachee is the expert not the trainer or teacher. Last but not least, the difference between counseling, therapy and coaching. Coaching is focusing on growth. Both therapy and counseling like in Mediation deal with a problem. Coaching explores the problem as an opportunity to evolve. Is constructive and positive.
|Cross-reference on Coaching semantics and other intervention methods
||Both focus on business but provide different ways to solve them.
Coaching understands that the individual has the solution whilst consultancy the consultant has it.
|Counseling aims at fixing the problem usually ending up with one solution. Coaching aims at exploring the problem with the intent to have the coachee finding his own solutions.
||Mentoring is about following the steps of the wise more experience mentor. Coaching is about allowing the coachee to find his own way.
||Very close to coaching but aimed at solving conflicts. So mediation would be more reactive alas Coaching more proactive in that the coachee awareness shall prevent conflict to happen.
||Same as Counseling aims at fixing the problem. Usually more serious and involving physiological or biological implications Coaching aims at healing using coachee own awareness power of healing.
||Transferring knowledge assuming the teacher knows and the student is ignorant. In coaching the coachee not the coach is an expert.
Hard skills or job related training is similar to teaching. Soft skills training is closer to coaching assuming the trainee needs nurturing of his natural abilities.
It is not about “Me” but about “Us” and the journey in between.
This time I was a coachee! It feels great to be the center of someone’s attention. So we were focused on how providing too much information to your peers at work can create conflict. In other words how complexity combined with speed at work can bring conflict to the table of day-to-day conversations. From the 45 min evolution I found that there is a conspicuous need to scan the recipient needs for info as you speak. And sometimes less is more. Therefore, we agree to use a modified PACT model to transitioning conversations and inteactions with peers at work. I also found that one cannot expect that the recipient of your message clearly understands it and expect him/her to reply in the same proportion or measure on the context of what is requested from me. And I found this is were my expectations need to be leveled so I do not get disappointed. Therefore I need to measure complexity regardless of the context as to avoid rejection or conflict before engaging people around me.
I am dazzled by the video about Millennials by Simon Sinek.
What is missing? Parenting, Patience, Technology and Environment: 15 min of Sinek at his best!
I agree with an ancient African proverb: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And there are situations — usually when a crisis occurs — when we must go as far as we can as quickly as we can. I am among those who are convinced that even great leaders cannot motivate others but they can inspire others to be self-motivated (Morris, 2016).
“About three and a half years ago, I made a discovery. And this discovery profoundly changed my view on how I thought the world worked, and it even profoundly changed the way in which I operate in it. As it turns out, there’s a pattern. As it turns out, all the great inspiring leaders and organizations in the world, whether it’s Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers, they all think, act and communicate the exact same way. And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else. All I did was codify it, and it’s probably the world’s simplest idea. I call it the golden circle.”
I had a chance to meet one of my colleagues for lunch and reflect on the past month coaching sessions. He seemed very confident and meet all his goals. He referred to as being able to recall and apply his own skills at a consciously competent level. I was more on trying to understand how you wake up your dormant coaching skills and was puzzled to understand that even with a life changing attitude you may end up not using your skills if you are not aware of that need. So I wondered what kid of cues can we elect and elicit so you coaching g heart is there all the time? What are the real outstanding elements that reinforce the habit of coaching at all times? Finding coachable moments and become smart about finding those is for sure a discipline. The natural ability is built on practice and the key word is… Listen.
So here we are, it’s Friday PM and everyone is gone from the new office. I could see he was very tired after all it was a long week. Upon a few minutes of discussion we ended up agreeing to talk about situations that can easily escalate to conflict. So from this discussion we explore the type of situations and how could we identify in advance if they could escalate to conflict. We were focused on the requests for work elements and the allocation of the workload to the team. We agree that somehow the key point is to find out win-win ideas (every one wins the job gets done and they learn by doing), clarifying the purpose so the conversation would not expand to details hence more potential for conflict. We agree on three main actions that ensure all conversations would end up with clear expectations and both parties happy with that outcome. Those were: 1) in any circumstance searching win-win situations, 2) ask clarifying questions but avoid “why” unless you direct the questions to yourself or provide an analogy, and lastly by explaining the constraints and how time is of essence providing reasoning for such request.
Coaching skills enhancement depends on a myriad of variables: some related to your personality, others to your natural ability and lastly specific traits that seem to be common skills coaches develop with practice. Coaching as a method is assessed under different variables using a myriad of scenarios. And institutions around the world propose Cartesian and not so Cartesian methods to measure your evolution. Regardless of its complexity there are three methods I saw important to consider: your self-reflection, peer assessment and observers feedback. The perception of those traits or variables are accepted by experts to be proxies of a good coaching, that is, if you score high it means your are unconsciously competent and, therefore, most likely able to to drive the Coachee’s agenda. Coaching global introduced a semantic differential scale to determine your baseline of coaching skills and measure to what extent your are improving them assuming you rate yourself periodically. So I decided to do so and share a survey monkey link. I the hope that you may find it useful for you too:
1. Observer feedback form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T8WJS3W
2. Coach competencies feedback self-assessment: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TVMYNCG
3. Coaching quick keyword feedback quick reference: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TV3YS8M
Coaching can be an extremely powerful activity if both the coach and the coachee become part of a true common agenda that does not necessarily follow the context of the conversation but extends itself to real life examples. I am sharing what for me was at the beginning a simple engaging conversation to another level of awareness of what is happening around me. I felt that both of us were benefitting from the process developing our ability to analyze a subject with clarity. This clarity helped to quickly create scenarios and select the best options. Most strikingly was that both of us left the meeting with the idea of achievement regardless the fact that we were coaching or being coached. That made me feel good about it.
Matching expectations with outcomes. The highlight this week goes to the 30 minutes evolution with a small team. Here was my first experiment using the GROW model in a group setting (w/ 6+1). First the team members where asked about what did they want to achieve with that session and the goals where posted on a table for everyone to see them. Then I asked about the current reality and we mapped out all their challenges. We did some clustering to define the focus of the conversation. Once the focus was determined I asked about what could they do about it to go from the current reality (in one side of the wall) to the goal. Again we secured several initiatives (will or way forward) that by consensus would get us there. Once the agreement was settled I asked about – what would be the first thing to focus on? All agree to go back to their own team and ask the very same questions. I can’t wait for the next follow up and wrap session.
Me and my friend had a very nice meal whilst updating our coach logbook. We discussed about 121 coaching and group coaching. And we identified some challeges when addressing a team that you don’t have on a 121 interaction. We touched base on the coachee emotions as to better understand about coachable moments and the opportunities to do so. We shared previous experiences and discussed where we are at this moment so we establish our base line of coaching skills and work through those skills as we interact and iterate the coaching framework. We mentioned about getting into the people feelings so that we may entertain the conversation and understanding of what are the real challenges ahead which in turn create substance for coach moment. We also discussed that the identification of a “coachable”moment was difficult and we tried to identify the context of that conversation. We also discussed to what extent we are so as to work on improving our coaching skills.