What is Coaching?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines professional coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Coaching is an approach for managing change: moving an individual from where they are now to where they want to be. It builds capacity and motivates individuals by raising their awareness about their strengths and how to leverage them to create change. It is a conversation and a process that occurs over time, between the Coach and the Participant. Through conversation, goals are identified and actions to achieve these goals are planned.
The philosophy of coaching is based on the premise that a Coach is the expert on facilitating a solution-focused process, and the Participant possesses the capability, creativity and resourcefulness to make change happen. The Participant is tasked with arriving at their answers while the Coach guides them in realizing their full potential.
While a Coach may have relevant personal or professional experience, the goal of coaching is to empower the Participant. The Coach facilitates a process which supports the Participant’s efforts in identifying solutions to achieve their desired results.
The Coach and Advisor Network (CAN) has adopted a short-term focused coaching model that includes six coaching sessions in total per Coaching Engagement. The initial meeting is expected to be approximately 1.5 hours and the remaining five sessions are 30 minutes each. Sessions should be scheduled bi-weekly allowing the coaching relationship to end within three months from the start of the first session. The scheduling of all sessions is initiated by the Participant once a referral is confirmed. If an in-person session is arranged, it is expected that the Participant will travel, at the Participant’s expense, to meet the Coach at a location agreeable to the Coach. Technology may be used to overcome distance and maximize the value of the time invested.
The coaching model adopted by CAN has a number of benefits. With a shorter and well-defined timeline, Participants are encouraged to come prepared and to strive to achieve their goal, and Coaches can manage their volunteer time commitment with greater certainty.
Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them … - Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Work
Coaching is a self-directed learning approach that fosters personal and professional growth. A Participant is able to achieve results faster and with greater motivation and satisfaction, because they are not being told what to do, but rather are participating fully in identifying solutions. Through the coaching process, a Participant is not only responsible for identifying goals and solutions, but is accountable for following through on achieving desired outcomes. This is accomplished by examining how they think and how they respond to issues, through the lens of differing perspectives. When desired results are achieved, a Participant experiences increased self-awareness, self-reliance and self-worth. Having experienced coaching, a Participant is more likely to take the initiative to solve future issues.
Coaching brings out the best in people! It can lead to greater satisfaction, engagement and resilience in work and in life.
About the Coaching Process
How Does Coaching Work?
The Coaching Model
The coaching environment is created and managed by the Coach and Participant. It is a confidential process that builds on a respectful and trusting relationship. The coaching conversation is guided by the four-step GROW model.
G – GOAL
Establishing the goal you want to achieve
R – REALITY
Exploring your current reality and obstacles for moving forward
O – OPTIONS
Generating options and strategies
W – WAY FORWARD
Planning your way forward by committing to specific actions that lead to achievement of the goal
The Coach's Role
The role of the Coach is to be fully present during sessions; to help to uncover solutions that are right for the goals that the Participant wants to accomplish; and to support the Participant in taking accountability for their action plan. The Coach guides the process, empowering the Participant to claim the full-spectrum of their capabilities so that the Participant can solve issues or pursue their passions.
- Assists in setting meaningful goals
- Provides structure and process for moving forward
- Focuses attention on what the Participant wants
- Encourages the Participant to do more
- Offers a supportive and challenging environment
- Ensures confidentiality.
By joining the roster, Coaches are presumed to be available for a single 3 month coaching engagement at any given time. Coaches can update their current availability and frequency of engagements at any time by contacting email@example.com.
The Participant’s Role
The role of the Participant is to be fully present during sessions, to be clear on what they want from each session, and to take accountability for following through on the actions set and the challenges they agree to accept from the Coach. Each session will create homework for the Participant to act on. Homework completed between coaching sessions will provide clearer insights and support the creation of meaningful goals and solutions.
The Participant enters into the Coaching Engagement with the understanding that the Participant is responsible for creating their own decisions and results. The coaching relationship is not a substitute for psychological counselling, psychotherapy or legal advice. The Participant is entirely responsible for any decision and outcome resulting from the Coaching Engagement as set out in the Request Form and Agreement submitted by each Participant.
- Brings a desire for seeking change
- Chooses the focus of the conversation
- Commits to the goal(s)
- Adopts a learner mindset
- Completes the challenges or homework as accepted
- Reflects on the outcome and comes to sessions ready to report back
- Prioritizes the coaching sessions and blocks time to prepare.
What Happens Prior to the Initial Coaching Session?
When CAN receives a request for time with a Coach and identifies a suitable and available volunteer on the roster, CAN will notify the Coach and the Participant about the match in an email to both parties. Upon receipt of the email, if the Coach has any concerns or needs to decline the engagement, the Coach should contact CAN as soon as possible so that alternate arrangements can be made for the Participant.
The Participant must take action within 7 days of receiving notice of a coaching engagement from CAN. Within 7 days, the Participant must initiate contact with his or her coach to confirm the engagement, providing the coach with a copy of the completed Pre-Contact Worksheet, and potential dates and time for the first session. If the Participant does not confirm acceptance of the engagement within 7 days, it will be cancelled and the coach may be re-assigned.
What Happens Between Sessions?
Between sessions, the Participant completes homework agreed to and prepares to report back on outcomes. The Participant may choose to use the Report Back Worksheet to assist with preparation, but this is not mandatory. At the start of each session, the Coach will check in to see what actions have been taken.
When Will the Coaching Engagement End?
The Coaching Engagement ends at the conclusion of the sixth session. In some circumstances, it could end before the sixth session if the Engagement is dissolved or successfully concluded by the Coach or Participant. If at any time a Coach needs to withdraw from the Coaching Engagement, simply contact CAN and the other party. Alternate arrangements will be made where possible.
Coaches have no obligation to continue to work with the Participant beyond the initial six sessions. If both parties are interested in continuing to work together, they are free to do so. Parties are encouraged to review CAN's Practice Management Considerations resource under the topic Duration for guidance on properly documenting ongoing relationships.
Alternatively, a Participant may wish to take the time to reflect on the coaching experience, implement change and then re-assess what is needed. Participants may submit a further request for coaching services at any time.
The reasons for termination of a Coaching Engagement may provide critical information to improve the program. CAN needs to hear from Coaches and Participants to ensure that we have relevant information to shape the program’s development. CAN will follow-up with the parties to ascertain what obstacles prevented successful completion of the Engagement in support of continuous improvement.