Credits: Photgraphy by Amoghavira

Time to think, tailored to each customer:

helps people think outside the box  

....  but doesn't come out of one

How does coaching work

It's tailored, not out of a box:  How many coaching sites offer their own particular, glossy KFC box to all their customers?  Your coach should have the experience, qualifications and depth to choose from a range of styles to suit the individual client, rather than adherence to one.


UK coach-mentoring 'guru' David Megginson (Emeritus Professor of HRD at Sheffield Business School, by kind permission) says: 'a coach or mentor working with only one approach, however powerful, is like a worker with only a screwdriver in the toolbox.'  


It's clear and purposeful:  Clarity around process ('how this will proceed'), scope ('what you'd like to cover'), and boundaries ('what's in / out of bounds') is very helpful.  An overall process typically looks lke this:


                                                building rapport and understanding a client's viewpoint

                                                setting direction and goals


                                                winding up

                                                moving on.


It has values: Coaching practice is underpinned by strong belief that each client has:  'vast resources for self-understanding, for altering his or her self-concept, attitudes, and self-directed behavior’ (Carl Rogers). How can you coach without this?


The focus is on your 'stuff' not the coach's: Some 'coaching' is about enhancing the coach's own status more than helping the coachee. How can you listen well, when you are mainly waiting for your turn to speak? We aim for vision and direction that is client-focused.


Featuring various techniques: Within this any number of approaches, tools and models may be preferable: the GROW model, the CLEAR model, 'Traffic Lights', Appreciative Enquiry, etc.


But these should not dominate: I couldn't better the excellent  Mike the Mentor's section on this :

  • It can be tempting, especially for a new coach, to use a lot of techniques, tools, psychometrics etc... What becomes clear over time is that effective sessions can occur when a coach feels they have done very little except 'be present' for the client. You rarely see "Presence" on a list of coaching competencies but it is probably the most important of all.