About Performance Coaching
All you want to know about Coaching!
What is Coaching?
“Coaching is purposeful conversation that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve” . For many it’s a life changing experience that dramatically improves their outlook on work and life while improving their leadership skills. It helps people tap into unknown potential unlocking sources of creativity and productiveness. ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential even in the face of growing complexity and uncertainty which is common in many workplaces today that are struggling with the war for talent.
What is ICF?
International Coach Federation is the leading global organization dedicated to coaching. Its pioneering presence burst onto the scene in 1995 when the industry was still emerging and has since grown to become the largest coaching organization serving more than 20,000* members worldwide. Those members look to ICF for exceptional education, networking opportunities and the latest research on industry trends. ICF is recognized worldwide for its high education standards. Thousands of coach training programs are submitted to ICF for rigorous review and approval, and ICF approves and recommends to its members.
Coaches do not give answers – they ask questions. Why?
They assume that since each individual is unique, the solutions and strategies that work for one person may not fit for another. For this reason, any advice that an “expert” might provide would be limited in its applicability to the degree that the style, strengths, experience and situation of the expert is similar to the style, strengths, experience and situation of the client.
Coaches do not need to be an expert in the industry or subject matter that their clients may be experts in. Coaches are experts in the process of helping people dig deeper, explore possibilities, shift perspectives, and create results independent of industry, topic, or circumstance. The extensive background and experience of a Coach is vital to the success of Client outcomes. This experience, however, is imbedded and only comes out in offering directional questioning, truthful observations, possibilities, action plans and measurable targets for creating that which the Client said they would create.
How is coaching distinct from other service professions?
Coaching is NOT consulting.
Consultants are hired because of their specific expertise. Often they assess a company’s practices and offer recommended solutions for improvement. Coaching, on the other hand, is a discovery-based process in which the client is led to create the solution within themselves and are held accountable to implement it. This empowers employees to produce creative solutions on their own rather than carrying out someone else’s recommendations. Therefore, coaching offers a long term solution as it equips employees to face challenges in the present and the future.
Coaching is NOT counseling.
Coaching is future focused, while counseling is often concentrated on past pain or current challenges. Counseling deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict. Counseling outcomes often include improved emotional/ feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals.
Coaching is NOT mentoring.
Sometimes people use the words “mentoring” and “coaching” interchangeably, but they do not describe the same type of working relationship. While mentors may use the same skills and tools in their approach to mentoring, the relationship between a mentor and 'mentee' is different to that which will develop in a coaching relationship. Mentors can be more ‘directive’ and provide specific advice where appropriate - a coach would not offer their own advice or opinion, but help the individual find their own solution.
Coaching is NOT training.
Training programs are based on learning certain objectives set out by a curriculum. Coaching is not set on a curriculum; rather it is customized for individual clients and not based on a linear course. While there are objectives in coaching, they are set by the coachee with guidance from the coach.
How can you determine if coaching is right for you?
To determine whether you or your company could benefit from coaching, start by summarizing what you would expect to accomplish in coaching. When an individual or business has a fairly clear idea of the desired outcome, a coaching partnership can be a useful tool for developing a strategy for how to achieve that outcome with greater ease.
Since coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives are valued. Also, ask yourself whether you or your business is ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way to grow and develop.
What has caused the tremendous growth in the coaching industry?
Coaching has grown significantly for many reasons, among them:
- Rapid changes are taking place in the external business environment.
- Downsizing, restructuring, mergers and other organizational changes have radically altered the "traditional employment contract.” Companies can no longer achieve results using traditional management approaches.
- With the growing shortage of talented employees in certain industries, companies must commit to investing in individuals' development.
- The disparity between what managers were trained to do and what their jobs now require of them is widening due to increasing demands for competitive results.
- People are wrestling with job insecurity and increased workplace pressures to perform at higher levels than ever before.
- Companies must develop inclusive, collaborative work environments to achieve strategic business goals and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.
- Individuals who have experienced the excellent results of coaching are talking to more people about it.
- People today are more open to the idea of being in charge of their own lives.
How can the success of the coaching process be measured?
Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways: external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success. Ideally, both are incorporated.
Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship, increased income/revenue, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback that is obtained from a sample of the individual's constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, boss, the manager him/herself), personal and/or business performance data (e.g., productivity, efficiency measures). The external measures selected should be things the individual is already measuring and has some ability to directly influence.
Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process, changes in the individual's self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking that create more effective actions, and shifts in one's emotional state that inspire confidence.