The Coaching Process

When people consider investing in coaching to gain happiness at work, they naturally have questions about how it works and how it will provide them with the solution they seek. Will the coach be able to help? Of course! Can success be guaranteed? Absolutely!

Coaching is a step by step process to gain personal change in the workplace by examining current behaviours and experimenting with new ones to develop successful habits. It’s normal to want to understand the process of this and to know what to expect.

It’s important to remember that coaching is a confidential and uninterrupted time with someone outside your world who can offer a safe, external space to bring up uncomfortable topics, and offer a different perspective.

Sometimes we are so close to our problems that we can’t see them simply and clearly. This is where coaching helps in the most basic way. Think of a coaching session as being like the conversation you would like to have with your boss but can’t, or a space to experiment with ideas and possibilities that might transform your working life.

 Chemistry

Once you have decided to take the plunge, you will have a phone call with your coach to agree the basics – location, session frequency, style, times and other details. This is a good time to ask any questions or raise any concerns. Perhaps you had coaching before or you have a very specific technical goal like interview or presentation coaching. Your coach will ask what you want to achieve – what your initial goals are. This call will sort out the basics and help you identify the problem that you need to solve.

Get Started

In the kick-off coaching session the Coach will explore your working world deeply and seek to understand what would make you really satisfied in your professional life. A promotion, a new job, improving a weakness or getting more confidence. Understanding your desired outcome is essential to ensure that the time together is relevant and useful. A personalised Coaching Plan will provide the rigour. This goal-setting stage may be revisited again as goals deepen.

Reality

You might find that you do a lot of the talking! The Coach will ask you a lot of questions. It is their job to get into your shoes and walk around in them. To do this requires a focused, concentrated attention on your world, to ensure you stay focused on the specific goal, and that a return on your investment is maximised at all times. You will probably find it quite liberating to talk through your issue in this way. Many people come to coaching as they have no one they can trust to talk to, and their loved ones are too detached. Your coach has a deep professional experience and will grasp quickly any issue you bring to the table.

Exploration

It is important to remember that it is not the Coach’s job to tell you what to do, or to direct you. However, if your Coach feels that sharing an anecdote, or providing some feedback may help deepen your self-awareness, it will be offered. Insights and observations from an expert may help you to develop an alternative behaviour, if that is what’s required. Sometimes the behaviour that is causing the problem – maybe a defensiveness at accepting criticism or challenges in communicating clearly – also shows up in the coaching session and it can be a powerful experience for the coach to share their experience of you, with you.

Action & Review

Here techniques like role play and personality profiling are used to experiment with an alternative behaviour. Until you are confident that you are ready to flex a behaviour change back in the office, this experimentation continues. At the end of each session you will commit to taking actions to practise the new skill or to attempt to form the new habit. Sometimes it can help to send an email or pick up the phone to the Coach for a quick check-in.After this we review our work together and agree what worked and what didn’t work and decide on next steps

The above five steps form the basis of a coaching experience. If you have questions around the process or would like to set up a Chemistry Call please email Natalie natalie@nataliebagnall.ie

Sources: GROW- John Whitmore, CLEAR- Peter Hawkins

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