Many people are tired of doing what they ‘should do' and realize that they have more choice to do what they ‘want to do'. It is important that you like what you do. This does not mean that each task you aim to realize will be pleasant or evident. We assume that self-efficacy increases by connecting successful experiences to each other. Your self-confidence grows by means of a right phasing and implementation of tasks to reach the larger goals (empowerment). The feeling of self-esteem enhances by founding the manner in which you reach those goals in your values. You decide how your life looks like. You are then less ‘being lived’. In the end, you will go through life as an optimistic person.
According to us, the increased efficacy and the general well being you strive for are only possible when who you are, what you want, what you can and what you finally do, are geared to one another. Coaching helps you to pass through this route; the coach keeps you on your track. Unlike psychotherapy, where the target is merely the decrease of psychic suffering, in coaching the development of skills to reach self-based goals is central.
What is coaching?
Coaching – literally ‘to keep on track' – emphasizes the enhancement of personal efficacy to attain goals and to be successful, and not so much about solving a problematical situation. Coaching is directed at change and is ‘action based'. Coaching is a new profession; it is the application of psychological principles (see definition psychotherapy) to assist people to act preventively when they want to carry through important changes in their lives.
The most important target of coaching is the raising of the ‘question-related' knowledge and the strengthening of personal skills. Coaching has more the function of a ‘sounding board’ or a ‘second opinion’. What the client wants and the obstacles he or she experiences with that, are central. The coach directs the attention on following questions:
• Where are you now compared to where you would want to be?
• What are your targets?
• Are your targets based on your values?
• To reach your goal, what are your strengths, which areas are susceptible for improvement and what do you have to apply on then?
Targets are clear and constructive, they are formulated positively (‘where does one want to go to’ instead of ‘what does one want to get rid of’) and must be within ones sphere of influence and be feasible. Targets outside ones reach are doomed in advance.
The approach of the coach
The approach of the coach can include all sorts of activities, varying from listening and reflecting, to giving indications, passing facts, giving instructions and prescribing exercises. The coach can supply new approaches and give concrete recommendations (expert role). He can also facilitate the clients development and decision-making process (process role). Both roles complete each other.
Coaching takes place in three areas:
The enhancement of the 'question-related' knowledge
Coaching always starts with a question. The role of the coach is to explicit the implicit knowledge of the client (about his professional environment, his motives and desires, and his strengths and weaknesses). To access the implicit knowledge increases the insight of the client ('self efficacy') and therefore he will take better decisions. Sometimes it is sufficient to become conscious of the already existing abilities; sometimes it is necessary to develop them further. The coach then offers alternative perspectives and 'new' knowledge.
The development of interpersonal abilities
Here we refer to the social-emotional abilities or emotional intelligence. One builds further on recognising and using the implicit knowledge. We search for underlying ways of thinking; the coach directs the attention on the fundamental validity or usefulness of the knowledge of the client (convictions or the 'belief system' are submitted to a critical examination). The personality comes up, as well as the question whether the goals are founded on own values.
Life Coaching (orientation on existential questions and decisions)
Coaching can also refer to the meaning of work in the broader context and life areas aside work. The equilibrium between private life and work, as well as their relationship to personal needs and abilities with regard to work, play a central role in Life Coaching.
Four topics are then central. How do you care for your (personal) relations, your material (financial) situation, your career and your health and emotional balance?
The dissonance between the values the client desires, the ones he approves or disapproves and the ones according to which he acts, is critically examined. This dynamic uncovers personality characteristics that lie in the 'shadow', but that can dynamise the client in order produce the desired changes..
Coaching is a form of individual accompaniment which aims at the optimization of personal effectiveness. Personal effectiveness is the degree to which we reach, professionally and privately, what we want to reach. For the realization of optimal personal effectiveness the following issues matter:
Insight in personal qualities: Everyone has a unique combination of personal qualities. It is not always easy to recognize these qualities and to operationalize them. These qualities can, in a certain sense, be covered by a layer of dust, as a result of which they are hidden from view, and therefore can not be used.
Insight in personal blockades: Blockades are viewpoints, feelings or behaviors which obstruct our optimal effectiveness. Sometimes concrete experiences are the cause of these blockades. In other cases it is not possible to explain how certain viewpoints, feelings or behaviors have arisen, but we know that it is important to unmask them.
Formulate personal goals: Goals are to be formulated as concrete as possible. Generally we have a general aim, but in a lot of cases it appears not simple to indicate the exact goal. The experience teaches: the more concrete and specific the goals are, the more likely it is that we reach what we want to reach.
Integration: The eventual results of coaching tracks are for an important part dependant on the degree in which the person concerned takes responsibility for his/her work and personal life. This plays a particularly important role concerning the integration of the learned in the professional situation. In addition, the attitude of the direct (professional) environment has a big influence on to what extent the learned can be converted and integrated. For these reasons, at every coaching track both is given much attention: taking individual responsibility, and the harmonization process with the direct work environment.
A typical coaching track has the following phases:
Goal definition: : Definition of the goals and a prognosis of the time investment which can be expected.
Exploration: : To draw up an inventory of the situations which caused the original request.
Strategy: Development of alternative insights and behavior strategies.
Implementationp : Implementation of alternative strategies.
Integration: Integration of the learned into action in the work environment.
This text is a translation of a text of the http://www.psychologenassociatie.be