The three principles of coaching

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The art of coaching
The art of coaching

We know that coaches have a healthy attitude towards other people and this is demonstrated by the three main things they do in their coaching sessions.

Firstly they concentrate wholly on the people they coach in order to raise their levels of awareness. Secondly they use encouragement and support to make sure that the people they coach take responsibility for moving their own issues forward. Thirdly they are open and honest and genuinely want to see others succeed and in this way they quickly build strong relationships of trust. Let’s now look at each of these in turn.

Raising awareness

By looking in our bathroom mirror we can raise our awareness of how we look and use this information to improve our performance in ‘looking good’. Just being aware of what’s going on when we experience certain things is often all it takes to make improvements – it’s a natural process.

Perhaps you’ve experienced the sensation of daydreaming whilst driving to the extent that you can’t recall if you’ve passed your turning or not. When this happens it’s because we’re performing on ‘auto- pilot’, in other words, we are not consciously aware of what we are doing. This situation can be remedied simply by raising awareness again. The next time you’re driving concentrate on how often this daydreaming happens. Paradoxically, because of your awareness and concentration it won’t happen at all.

Generating responsibility

Coaches also want people to take responsibility for tackling their own problems and developing their own abilities. Insecure managers often get a sense of satisfaction from always rescuing other the people. It makes them feel good because they’ve helped someone out and they believe that the other person will feel good because they’ve passed their situation to somebody else.

But these same managers have massive pending trays groaning under the weight of other people’s problems. If we solve a problem for somebody once, the chances are they’ll come knocking on our door each time they have another one. When we take responsibility for someone else’s situation we have failed to develop that person and have simply reinforced their sense of dependence. Over the long term this can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment.

Building trust

Finally, effective coaches see the virtuous circle of establishing trust. They realise that by raising awareness and generating responsibility they are providing people with a platform to perform at higher levels. As this happens they will develop a great sense of trust in the coaching process and in turn answer their coach’s questions with deeper levels of honesty and candidness.

In this way our coaching will help them to become more aware and responsible and so it goes on.

Raising Awareness, generating Responsibility and building Trust (ART) are the key principles of effective coaching. Hence The ART of Coaching.

Matt Somers

Matt Somers

Matt Somers is the UK’s leading trainer of managers as coaches. His coaching skills training programmes, books, articles and seminars have helped thousands of managers achieve outstanding results through their people.

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