Coaching (1)

“A successful coaching engagement will have a cascading effect, crating positive change beyond the person receiving the coaching.” – Diana and Merril Anderson, from J. Whitmore, Coaching for Performance.

I have not read Whitmore’s book but came across this quote in Clutterbuck’s Coaching the team at work. Most of you reading about coaching must have come along Clutterbuck. I was overly interested in his book about team coaching to see how one can improve team performance without being a team-leader.

In his book he suggests to look up where one finds loads of definitions of coaching – all I found was loads of links to different coaching offers, one linking back to the UK, The Coaching Academy, where I have done a course in the past. And, they just send me more information through the door about running workshops – you cannot avoid their promotional offers and marketing.

However, Clutterbuck summarizes nicely that the most common threads for coaching are:

  • developing personal or group insight
  • performance against specific goals
  • support and encouragement
  • experimentation
  • the effective use of questioning skills

Also, a coach can be seen as a vehicle for taking the individual in the direction they want to travel. That reminds me of an old “joke” about NLP. If someone ask for example a police officer where the station is, the police officer might say “left, 2nd right, on your left hand side”. An NLP person would say “imagine you are already there, how did you manage to get to the station?”. Back to perception and your map of the world. Seriously, is coaching nothing else than the use of NLP, similar of DBM offering techniques for NLP tools so does coaching? Would be interesting to discuss!

I don’t want to stir anything up or devalue coaching at all – what I like to point out is that coaching, DBM or other techniques, e.g. motivation techniques used by so many gurus, are often based on NLP. And what is NLP? Is NLP not common sense? Common sense of life experience modeled so you can use those experience in other life situations? NLP as a basis for development – or is that too generalized?

Now I drift a little away from coaching. But I met people who were obsessed by NLP. It can get me where I want. It is the ultimate thing to know and you are happy and invincible. If I do my Master Practitioner I can teach people the world. Come back to reality! There is no doubt that NLP offers you great tools, as written in NLP revisited. However, it is not an ultimate tool and it depends WHO uses it in WHICH WAY! NLP is not the remedy for everything.

Coming back to coaching. Clutterbuck publishes a great model in his book explaining differences of coaching, mentoring etc. I asked for permission to publish it so hopefully you will see it here soon.