Coaching is a special training method aimed at achieving clearly defined goals (this does not mean general development of a person or a multitude of qualities, but qualities that are exclusively necessary for achieving specifically defined goals). Involves teamwork with a coach, a person who is a coach in this field (life or professional).
Coaching and mentoring have more common points of view than development and mentoring, that is, they have a clear focus of activity, instead of an extended improvement plan.
Kinds of types of training method
There are many types of coaching, depending on the scope of its application, and the main ones are life coaching (life) and corporate coaching (professional). The first one is very close in its methods and in many respects it borders on psychology, specialists practicing this area can be certified in many related specializations (medicine, sociology, teaching), but not a pure representative of any of them.
It is possible to apply coaching development techniques when preparing athletes for competitions and when choosing a career, even when developing a homework strategy.
Coaching to manage your financial flows (relevant for large companies and family budget information), as well as coaching a healthy lifestyle (helping to maintain health or cope and learn to live with chronic diseases) are not so common, but very effective strategies. Often in such narrow branches there is not even a naming of a coach as a coach, more often they are called consultants or doctors and economists use the coach method, but the essence of noticeable positive changes does not change.
Often, such methods are subjected to moral criticism, since the goal is based on the achievement of a goal, often the ways and means are not taken into account. In addition, unlike the activities of similar areas (psychotherapy, sociology), the coach follows clear algorithms of work and requires strict adherence to advice from the client, while activities in this area are not legally approved, and only Coaching Federation conducts regulation of actions and results.
The definitions of coaching are varied, and include shaping the human environment in such a way that the movement towards the goal brings pleasure, the creation of conditions for development, the inalienability of the long-term relationship between the client and the coach, since in many ways coaching and mentoring are similar. This also includes the definition of coaching as a system of interaction between social and personal, professional and creative abilities and talents of all participants in the process to obtain maximum further benefits.
To avoid confusion of the concept of what coaching is, one should distinguish between coaching, training, consulting and psychotherapy (these are the areas most often confused and dissatisfied with the results due to the initial erroneous choice).
So, in the training there is a certain scenario and recommendations from the leader on the best behavior strategies, that is, you take a ready answer and learn to apply it to your life.
This is different from consulting, where you get advice and recommendations, after which no one else takes part in the client's life, leaving the selected techniques to his own consideration and in order to get new advice, you need to establish new relationships. Perhaps, the most similarity is in building partnerships with coaching with psychotherapy, but if the therapeutic session is characterized by a rather extensive attention to the traumas of the past, then in coaching all the attention is focused on the present moment and striving for the future.
Coaching sessions can be one-time (or periodic) when a client addresses specific issues - this type is considered to be freestyle. In contrast, there is process coaching, when there are many different problems connected with one another or not, for which a separate program is being developed, the duration of which can be one year or more.
The types of problems involved are usually divided into behavioral (when the need arises for certain reactions, for example, uncertainty with a large number of people), evolutionary (involving personal development or development as a professional), transformational (affecting existential problems of meaning and purpose).
Coaching, as a form of training, is effective when dealing with negative emotional states, such as prolonged grievances, uncontrollable anger, pathological jealousy and processing them into positive ones (this does not necessarily mean excluding these emotions from the tested spectrum, but allows you to direct them into a useful course for the individual ). High results of coaching strategies for the formation of resistance to external traumatic events, maintaining a holistic self-perception and maintaining adequate self-esteem (as well as its increase), as well as in the fight against addictions (in relationships or chemical).
In life coaching, you can develop the necessary personal qualities (confidence and positivity, dedication and commitment), eliminate unwanted or destructive. You can also work with behavioral strategies, habits, the ability to manage their external manifestations and internal states. But in addition to such clear goals, there is an opportunity to figure out your life path, to form the goals themselves, to which there will be a desire to strive and overcome unforeseen critical life changes, knocking down former guidelines (divorce, military actions, change of profession, conflicts, and many others).
This is one of the most popular branches of this activity, which is the relationship at the professional level between a coach, as a development specialist (business or professional competence of an individual employee) and a client (manager, personnel manager, individual employee with personal goals). Just like life coaching, there is constant support, support and development of strategies to achieve goals, and this relationship lasts as long as it takes time to achieve the stated needs.
Business coaching is most in demand among medium-sized business executives, where there is no possibility to hire a sufficiently large number of specialized employees, and you have to follow everything yourself.
Problems can arise from a lack of knowledge in any of the areas (it is difficult to combine an accountant, a motivating psychologist and a purchasing manager, possessing all the skills equally), workload and the inability to keep track of all processes (this may be an incorrect distribution of tasks, flaws time management, and lack of rest). Of the nonworking moments, personal relationships that inevitably arise when running a small business often have a great influence on business success — colleagues become friends, the boss knows what the employee’s child is sick of, and family members are involved in the workflow, which completely confuses the understanding of what is happening.
A coach is able to look at the situation as a whole and in the perspective of development, isolate weak points (and not always it will be purely working moments, sometimes personal life influences much more significantly). After setting the perspective and highlighting goals for work, a plan is drawn up to improve the efficiency of the company, taking into account the inhibiting factors found.
Corporate coaching does not exclude individual coaching of each employee, with the purpose of his promotion or training, improving motivation, communication in a team, building a personal effective concept of work, or enhancing the necessary qualities (perseverance, strategic thinking or leadership). Such activities are a bit like a psychologist specializing in work psychology, with the difference that the psychologist must provide the most appropriate conditions for the activity, while the coach is able to reorganize the whole team and search for those moments that will bring employees joy from their work. Also, the coach will never leave simply after seeing the results, usually after the work he has done there are new instructions for working with the team, the corporate culture itself and a clear plan of further actions are reorganized.
A business coaching can be carried out by an internal company coach who has a position and responsibilities in an organization and is responsible for the productivity of the processes entrusted to him (usually this happens in large holdings). Where there is no possibility to keep a coach on a permanent basis, the mechanism of a invited external consultant operates, whose work in an organization ends when goals are achieved (usually, the services of specialists are resorted to when the company is in crisis). But you shouldn’t hope for specialists, as any manager is a coach for his employees, able to raise their motivation or understand regressing processes.
Narrow business coaching experts are invited to transform an existing project or open a new one, while establishing partnerships or increasing staff motivation. But advice and interventions may also be important in drawing up advertising products and setting pricing policies, since such moments are often influenced by a person’s inner perception, his personal ambitions and complexes, which may give rise to an inefficient prioritization.
The problem of teaching a person to effective life strategies has always been the prerogative of psychologists, and it is starting from the basics of studying the functioning of the brain and psyche that leading principles of coaching were developed. Marilyn Atkinson, who studied the work of Milton Erickson, founded a university where everyone could exchange and develop data already available in this area (at the moment it is an accredited educational institution). Erickson himself developed the concept of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, using principles in life that had not previously appeared in scientific circles. It was these ideas that allowed a person to change not only the working moments and some features of his personality, but also his life entirely, taking control of its manifestations and further development.
Methods that did not fit the concept of psychotherapeutic schools shocked, but worked. The basis of them was the search for an optimal solution, starting from a situation that has already developed, without unnecessary companies in the past and searching for causes. The first and main course at Erickson University was built on advising on finding solutions using NLP and hypnotherapy. From this point on, coaching training began to take place, where the basis was the movement of a person forward and the transformation of his life for the better. Consultants, practicing this new look, did not seek to search for the deep root causes of the crisis, nor to designate all problematic factors, their eyes were always directed to the future, believing that it didn’t matter to look for where a person caught a cold, it is much better to start treating it, even without knowing the reasons.
Erickson coaching owes its name to what is based on the principles and methods developed by Milton Erickson. The primary among them is the belief in each person and the availability of all the necessary resources to resolve their own problem situation, and the coach is only a guiding function, asking questions to help find a way out. And the next is the understanding that absolutely anyone is capable of changes to the internal, his life, business or any other part, while he is able to quickly notice the results of the changes.
In addition, if you delve into the model of Erickson coaching, you can say goodbye to those attacks. Who considers this model immoral. The basis for access to change is based on a harmonious combination of four opposite polarities: science and art, relationships and plans, strategies and innovations, and material and spiritual. And it is the maintenance of the equally high level of development and mutual transition of these parts that promotes harmonious development.
As with any system that promotes human development, coaching has its own models, which are the basis of the session. This is a set of techniques that allow to see the situation in a holistic manner, rather than its individual components, since it is not always the area that is problematic, requires reorganization, and may require participation in other areas. Also, these models allow the coach to resist the influence of distorting factors and remain in adequate perception of what is happening. The model is not one, since the direction itself is relevant in working with different areas of human life and has absorbed the principles of various theories - this gives variability of application and exclusion of actions that are ineffective for a particular situation.
The general principles for all coaching models are to establish open and trusting relationships (the basis for them is the complete confidentiality of the information received and the ongoing processes), the formulation of goals and values is based on the interest, expectations and needs of the client, regardless of the consultant's beliefs. This is facilitated by another unifying principle - the first step will always be a detailed customer survey and familiarization with the situation, as well as subsequent training for independent actions.
Choosing the models we have worked out, sifting out the most appropriate personal style coach or a combination of the existing ones does not reduce efficiency, but always gives rise to a new approach. Coming with the same request to five different specialists, you will receive five different strategies.
The most common GROW model, comprising the steps of:
- definition and setting of short-term and long-term goals;
- study of the situation at the moment;
- the study and search for existing opportunities for the realization of goals;
- the definition of future actions, including the designation of both the actions themselves and their time period, as well as the persons involved.
Independent application of the model, even knowing its stages, is very difficult, because to get new information you need a look from the other side, and this is not a coach's look. His task is to ask a large number of questions that help a person to see the breadth of the situation, new opportunities and risks.
Techniques are the tool by which the goals of the client, indicated in the request, are achieved. Their arsenal is great, and sometimes they are born during the session, but there are basic ones that will fit everywhere.
The main technique is the issues, since direct advice is not included in the concept of the system itself. Questions allow you to find out the situation and make a person talk, think. Unambiguous closed questions are not suitable for this, the question should be posed in such a way that it generates an answer similar to a small story, and then clarified with questions of the same plan.
The next important tool is scaling, it can concern both the emotional state (anxiety at the level of eight out of ten) and the state of affairs (the profit is four levels out of ten). It helps not only to set the current position and picture of the world at the client, but is also necessary in setting goals.
Coaching is the most specific exercise, and the wording “increase self-esteem” is too blurred, it becomes necessary to establish at what level of self-esteem now, and what level a person wants to achieve. Further it is possible to detail by setting a time frame and setting indicators in priority.
Another scaling option is the time line, where the plan for achieving the goal, its main stages, is drawn up on conditional time periods. Техника хороша, чтобы разгрузить восприятие больших и сложных ситуаций, когда долгий проект или тяжелую работу разбивают на вполне обозримые кусочки, достижение которых видно и запланировано.
Если коуч видит, что достижению цели мешает собственное сопротивление клиента, то используется техника "а что если?", где предполагается, что называемые человеком трудности устранены. It acts bypassing consciousness and sober reason, which releases a lot of creative energy to the resolution of issues. The technique of revealing true values is also good, when a person is asked for each answer the question "what is valuable in this for you?" and so on until the succession of dialogue comes to a standstill - the latter will be the true value of the client. The discovery of such values gives an understanding of why others fail, for example, when the basic value of a relationship can systematically collapse a career, in order to preserve these relationships.
This is just a list of basic techniques that can be combined with each other and with others, some of them are perfect for self-coaching or to deal with the current situation, some require the direct participation of a coach. Despite the simplicity of some and the complexity of others, efficiency does not depend on the duration and resources spent, accuracy of application is more important, sometimes one simple question can give a person great inspiration and understanding of the changing situation.