1. The essence of coaching
An important part of the coaching process is that the coachee must become aware of the goals he or she is pursuing at a concrete level. Without a question or objective, targeted guidance becomes difficult. The coach has an important task here in emphasising the coachee's own responsibility and clarifying together what the coachee actually wants. In doing so, the coach ensures that the goals are meaningful to the coachee and in line with his norms and values. If goals do not correspond with what is important to the coachee or if they entail negative consequences for the coachee, there is a fairly good chance that no investment will be made in these goals.
In addition, a good coach examines what has so far prevented the coachee from achieving his or her goal(s). Only by identifying obstacles can we think about possible solutions for overcoming them and preventing them from interfering again.
Finally, it is essential that the coach investigates what knowledge, skills, tools and strategies the coachee thinks he needs in order to achieve the goals set. The coach guides the coachee in obtaining these necessities. In doing so, the coach continuously stimulates the self-learning capacity of the coachee to ensure that the coachee himself learns to solve problems and issues.
The basic attitude of the coach in this process is always positive, supportive, sincerely interested and curious. The coach does not judge, because there are many ways to achieve results. The only thing that matters is that the coachee benefits from the coach's support and how this helps him or her.
Setting positive goals. In the coaching process, it is important to set positive goals, i.e. goals that express what the coachee does want rather than what he no longer wants.
Do the following exercise with a friend, family member or colleague
- Ask your partner to describe a problem that he or she would like to see solved. Continue to ask about the problem: How long has the problem existed? How did it arise? What caused it? Why hasn't the problem been solved yet? Etcetera.
- Ask your partner to describe a problem he or she would like to see solved. Keep asking about possible solutions and the end goal: how do you know you have achieved what you want? How can others know that too? What do you need to achieve it? Who or what could help you? What are the first alternatives that come to mind to get closer to your goal? What could you do? Etcetera.
- Discuss the differences between the problem focus and solution focus with your partner and write them down for yourself.
Set goals that are in line with the coachee's norms and values. Practice the following with a friend, family member, or colleague:
- Ask your partner to describe a problem he or she would like to see solved.
- Formulate a positive goal. Then ask your partner to visualise the desired result. It is important here that you tell the coachee to see himself and the situation as an observer so that the result can be assessed objectively. Ask the coachee what he sees, how it feels to see himself in this way, whether he is satisfied with the result and whether the result might entail negative consequences for the coachee or for others. Ask the coachee whether what he or she sees is in line with his or her standards and values and what is important to the coachee. Then ask the coachee to "experience" the desired result in his imagination in the first person and in the here-and-now. Check with the coachee whether the experience is satisfactory enough to pursue. Also check whether the result has negative consequences. If so, the coachee's goal should be adjusted.
Being positive. A good coach regularly pays a compliment and points out to the client what is going well. Disapproval and negativity do not fit well in a coaching conversation. A session always has a positive focus and emphasises the good in a situation or in a person. Things are never 100% negative or 100% positive and every behaviour is functional in a certain situation. For example, someone who gets angry with others easily is often able to indicate his/her limits well and someone who often tells lies is creative.
Re-label yourself now:
- A narcissistic person is....
- A superficial person is....
- A jealous person is....
- An indirect person is....
- An impatient person is....
- A suspicious person is....
For each behaviour there is an appropriate situation and context. As a coach, you help the coachee to apply behaviour in the right situation. You also teach the coachee to be less hard on himself and others. If the coachee says, "
I'm just afraid I'll do wrong," as a coach you can say, "
The good thing about making 'mistakes' is that they are learning experiences that you need to get where you want to go. And with:
My colleague does everything at her pace, if I have to wait for her to do it, I'll never finish it! you can say as a coach:
Your colleague sounds like someone who doesn't let herself be driven crazy.
Do it now:
He never informs and involves us in the decisions he makes!
I get so tired of these mails asking me for the state of affairs when I have just explained everything a few days before
He always changes his mind when we've just started...
By looking at behaviour in a fresh and positive way, new possibilities can become visible and be solved in a more positive way.
Learn to give compliments: Compliment two people a day for one week.
Solutions versus problems (positive versus negative). Focus on problems for a whole day. Focus on what is not going well, what is causing it, why it is so annoying and what is causing it. Then focus another day on solutions. In conversations, focus on how things could possibly be done differently, what can be learned from previous experiences, what the future situation should look like and what you have learned from it.