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 will empower 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.
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 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 Participant's request for time with a Coach and identifies a suitable volunteer on the roster, CAN will contact the Coach to confirm the Coach’s interest in proceeding. CAN will then confirm the engagement in an email addressed to both the Coach and the Participant.
The Participant is responsible for completing the Pre-Contact Worksheet and providing the Coach with a copy prior to contacting the Coach to schedule the first session. The Participant is expected to review the Resources for Coaching Participants and complete the Pre-Contact worksheet within one week of confirmation of the Engagement, and then initiate contact to set a date for the first 1.5-hour coaching session.
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. 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, then a continuation may be arranged with notice to CAN.
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 or extension 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.