Coaching is a form of guidance to change people for the better and give them insight into their own behavior (change) capabilities. The European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) uses the following definition:
“Coaching is a structured and purposeful process in which the coach interactively stimulates the coached to gain goals for effective behavior:
– awareness and personal growth
– increasing confidence and
– explore, develop and apply own possibilities
Coach and coached take both responsibility for the process“.
Our vision (positive psychology, appreciative inquiry and concrete solutions) joins this definition well. Important for W&M psychologists is to generate motivation among the coached to initiate change and give direction to new initiatives. In addition, we maintain a degree of flexibility in our approach in order to steer clear from strict executions of a particular structure or guidance form. Related methods and insights from alternative guidance forms as counseling, mentoring, training, and (clinical) therapy may offer added value to a particular coaching process and will be used when desired. The coached him/herself also has say in this. The way in which knowledge is acquired or used to gain insight is of secondary interest for us (with the proviso that the coach gives professional and qualitative insights). Highest goal is that the coached gains insight, learns and deploys immediately in order to maximize his/her potential.
Way of Working
A coaching program usually consists of an intake, six sessions and an evaluation at the end of the process. If necessary a second intake, an elaborate intake with the (HR) organisation, mid-term or an extra end review is planned with the organisation.
During the intake the question for coaching is identified. This question or questions are submitted to the (HR) manager and considered as the coaching contract with the coachee. In addition, either side experiences whether there is a similar connection in other words ‘click’.
The process of the coaching sessions themselves exist of two phases.
During the first phase, orientation and reflection are key. The questions are discussed, refined and transformed into objectives for change. Comprehensive psychological development assessment will be used when necessary. Besides, all possible sources of information are tapped such as 360-degree feedback, performance appraisal forms, previous test results, etc. At the end of this phase, the objectives are reformulated, including the solution and the desired end results.
During the second phase, change and anchoring are key. The coachee is actively working between sessions with his/her change objectives. When the coaching program is initiated by an organization, the organization normally becomes involved in this phase by means of the method called “feed-forward”. The client keeps logs now. The coaching sessions are used to discuss progress and reflection on new initiatives. If necessary a trainer/act(or/ress) can be involved working on specific behavioural or communication skills.
An end evaluation will be held to reflect on the achievements, solutions and noticeable (behavioural)changes.
A prerequisite for success is that the coached has a clear desire to achieve change. The change process doesn’t need to be uncomfortable but requires perseverance. Often unconscious ingrained behaviour patterns need to be broken.
Another condition for success is actively participation of the coached. He/she writes a report (log) after each session and makes proposals for the agenda of the next session. Solutions discussed will be taken and provided books and articles studied.
The promises active participation as well and builds on this self-motivation of the coached. The coached responds actively to initiatives of the coached.
A condition for success of coaching initiated by the organization is the support of the (hr)principal to shape the coaching questions and actively involvement during the whole process of the coached. Evaluation always take place in the triangle coached, (hr)principal and coach.
Code of conduct
The relationship between coach and client is strictly confidential.
W&M psychologists are registered psychologists of the NIP (Dutch Institute of Psychologists) and work according to their professional code in relation to assessment and coaching. In addition, associated psychologists, act(ors/resses) or consultants working for W&M psychologists are certified for andvarious accredited Dutch or European professional organizations. Feel free to ask in case desired.
Interesting references with regard to the definition of coaching: