Overview of Coaching
Coaching is not counselling and it’s not mentoring. Nor is it complicated. It is founded upon the fundamental simplicity of providing a safe, supportive and structured environment in which an individual is encouraged to explore options, some or all of which they might never have otherwise verbalised. And an essential part of providing a safe environment, is to ensure that the contents of a coaching session remain confidential. Even when an organisation is sponsoring the coaching engagement, the coaching counterpart remains the “client” and there is no disclosure to the organisation of issues discussed in the coaching session.
The application of organisational and individual coaching is currently undergoing significant growth, and at an organisational level is being used in two ways. Some organisations are providing broad training to managers and executives – and even staff across all levels – in order to develop a coaching culture. A culture that encourages supervisors and co-workers to adopt a coaching approach when dealing with others. Other organisations are engaging external coaches to provide services to staff in either a performance management or individual development sense. There is no doubt that applied properly, and with a receptive client (sometimes called “coaching counterpart”) coaches can achieve significant results. Increasingly, coaches are also being engaged in a private capacity by individuals who are seeking to improve and expand their professional and personal performance.
One of the pioneers in organisational coaching posited that:
Performance = potential – interference
where interference refers to all the patterns of behaviour and mantras we repeat to ourselves in our head. That is, the interference that we allow to undermine our performance. He used this to explain why a talented sports person could be a world beater one day, and an easy beat the next. Their “potential” was always the same: but on some days they’d subject themselves to higher or lower levels of interference.
The coaching method encourages the client to identify the interferences that prevent optimal performance, and then develop strategies for overcoming the interference. But rather than letting those strategies just hang, the client needs to develop and stick to a plan of action for dealing with the interference.
The widely used GROW model works on identifying a goal, scanning the reality of the current situation, developing options for reaching the goal, and then wrapping up with a plan of action.
The coach’s responsibility and role (aside from confidentiality) is in asking open and non-leading questions designed to encourage the coaching counterpart to explore and visualise options and obstacles both inside and outside the box. Sometimes a coaching counterpart will experience a “gotcha” moment during a session; often times, the moment may come hours, days or weeks later.
Packages Offered by Managing Matters
Managing Matters offers four basic coaching packages beginning with a short “taster” that provides clients with an introduction to the coaching framework and process, through to a longer-term engagement where individuals and teams have an opportunity to progress through a spectrum of performance issues at a steady pace. In order to meet the needs of individual clients, alternative packages can be negotiated and a flexible mix of delivery methods including face to face, Skype and telephone can be incorporated.
This package provides clients with an introduction to the coaching process and an opportunity to determine whether it’s the best “fit” for them. It incorporates a free 30 minute session to explain the coaching agreement, establish the context and initial goal-setting, shortly followed by a one-off 45 minute coaching session. Short email and telephone support is also provided through the coaching engagement. The coaching engagement is completed within a ten calendar day period usually via phone or Skype and costs $360.
Reflection and follow-up are important aspects of the coaching process, and this package allows the client more time to develop new insights and step up to the challenge of taking decisive action. After the initial free introductory session, the coach and client engage in two 45 minute coaching sessions accompanied by email and telephone support. The additional time allows the client with an opportunity to develop a plan of action to be followed up at the subsequent session. The coach and the client work together for up to a month and the total investment is $700.
Explore and Venture
Short coaching packages can often have a significant impact, but there is no doubt that more substantial progress takes time. For those looking for a longer term engagement with a coach, this package provides an economical option for extending the coaching relationship and taking advantage of the support available over time. After the initial 30 minute introductory session, the coach and client meet for four 45 minute coaching sessions that are conducted within a two month period. Throughout this period email and telephone support is provided, and there is also the option of gathering external feedback at the client’s request. This package costs $1380.
Embark on a longer term journey for an extended period of time with coaching support that will help you achieve some significant goals. Completed over a three month period, this package begins with a 30 minute introductory session to set the scene. Then six 45 minute coaching sessions together with phone and email back-up will support you taking action on your priority issues. At your request, external feedback can also be incorporated into the coaching engagement. This discovery package over three months will cost $2050.