Coaching as a profession has existed, in its various forms for quite a number of years. From the late 1950’s academics started to look at sports coaching as a model, to the 2010’s with Neuropsychology and beyond. I’ve purposely left out any references to Agile Coaching — I’ll leave this area for a future blog.
There’s been a number of influences on coaching from sport, business, education and psychology. Coaching is full of tools, techniques and approaches, including, but not limited to:
- Behavioural Coaching (TGROW)
- Solution Focused
- NLP, EQ & Appreciative Inquiry
I’ve been using the GROW model (and the TGROW, where T stands for Topic) for the majority of my coaching engagements. It’s easy to use and allows the coach to really focus on listening, without following some complicated process model.
The GROW Model is deservedly one of the most established and successful coaching models. Created by Sir John Whitmore and colleagues in the 1980s, it was popularized in Sir John’s bestselling book, Coaching for Performance. (www.performanceconsultants.com/grow-model)
Here are some quotes on coaching:
“Coaching is unlocking people’s [teams] potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”
― John Whitmore
“Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistakes”
― John Whitmore
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you always knew you could be” — Tom Landry
Potential minus Interference is equal to Performance…
Timothy Gallwey’s, The Inner Games of Tennis. This proposed that performance (p) is equal to potential (P) minus interference (I). So whether the interference is: fear, self-belief, confidence, trying too hard, trying for perfection, trying to impress, anger, frustration, boredom, complexity, failing, the past, the future…Whatever the interference is, however it is rooted, a coaching relationship can help shift perception in relation to a current reality you may hold.
Traditional coaching looks at moving someone, or team, from a place of discomfort or pain: unsatisfying job, a troubled relationship, physical wellbeing, career planning, difficult manager, poor performance etc, i.e moving from point A to point B.
This type of coaching, although has short term goals and successes, leaves an underlying mindset or behaviour that hasn’t been transformed because, for the most, it’s not been asked to be part of a transformational shift.
Transformational coaching creates a pervasive shift in a person, or team, and clarity and understanding of their purpose and way of being in this world.
Here’s another way of looking at coaching. I’ve used this on numerous occasions when I’ve coached teams. It comes from Dilt’s ‘The Logical Levels’ and can be used to organise our thinking about an individual, a group or an organisation. The Logical Levels provides a structured way of understanding what’s going on in any ‘system’ including the human personality, a partnership or marriage, a family, a team, a department, or even an organisation.
Here’s an image that I’ve used in training/coaching:
Coming back to the idea of transformative coaching. In Dilt’s model, I see the top three: Beliefs & Values, Identity and Purpose as transformational.
The lower three: Environment, Behaviour and Capabilities as more transactional. Transactional, as in moving someone or team, from A to B.
Transformational coaching requires vigour, degrees of challenge and openness to exploration, curiosity and deeper levels of listening. Listening is not just about what has been said, it’s also about what’s not being said. It’s about listening with your body, your intuition and embodied knowledge.
There must be trust and the allowance of making mistakes, where wisdom emerges building learning opportunities. Mistakes and working with failure builds resilience, an adaptive mindset and an innovative approach within individuals, leaders and teams.
As a Coach, I’m here to help create something; whatever that ‘something’ is and to make a contribution to a lasting and positive effect on peoples lives. I enjoy working with intangibles, different perspectives to help build creativity and to facilitate growth. To grow needs action, to make solid the intangible.
To coach is to ‘hook’ and unite concepts, to join and to play with ideas of reality that have not been created and to see this through with Zen-like focus.
Thanks for reading and if you are looking for a Coach, with Zen-like focus, then please get in touch. Mark.