The term “Coach” is extremely fickle. Trainers in fottball and other sports, Tutors in scientific education, but even managers and project heads consider themsenves coaches sometimes . the practical doing of all these persons varies widely – and yet aclear and common understanding of Coaching” has evolved in business environment, slowly. It’s about methods and approaches, starting from a fundament of scientific insight. Personal responsibility of the client for his or her development is the goal.
Topics of this work are typically
- further development of client’s business,
- Organisation (hierarchy, processes…),
- forming of personal relationships,
- Planing and deciding next career moves,
- specific questions and initiatives,
- exercising new behaviours,
- Reflection of varied issues, preparation of decisions
The issues, brought forward by the client (also “coachee”), are worked on in a (not to long) sequence of sessions. Yet, starting from this original question, coaching typically moves on to neighbouring topics.
Restriction of the coach is the principal and methodic core of coaching: he just does not advise, explain, support, intervene, help, or train! (Self-)Reflection, understanding, development of practical alternatives to proven methods, starting from already present competencies of the client, but going forward to new approaches is in the foreground. Just what’s the use if the client has to do all that? In Psychodrama we have the funny proverb on “situative stupefaction when topic is oneself” – and we have to overcome this!
“He who asks, leads” is true here too, of course. This asking method is not done in a driving or manipulative way. Much more, the statements or answers of the client are further explored through continuous questions; systemic asking has morphed into a method of its own.
There are more exercises and procedures for specific reflections: visualisation, Life-Line exercise, the MBTI, our own instrument for Work-life-Balance diagnosis…
My own experience indicates:
- “Contract”, the agreement on the mandate in the beginning: what is this all about, who’s responsible for what?”
- Wide vriety and flexibility of methods: personal preferences or substantial planing has to take a back seat there is situational need
- It’s not about elegant hypothesies or glorious “action”, but patience – and practicability for the client!