Thursday, October 18, 2007

Coaching: Some Misunderstandings about Coaching


One of our classmates asked me a question. Someone told her the following about coaching:

1. We must use reflecting (paraphrasing) to build rapport in coaching.
2. We can coach by doing self-Disclosure (sharing your experience).
3. A coach is required to confront with the coachee.

She is confused. My answer is as follow:

One of the most acceptable definition of coaching is: coaching in non-sporting environments focus on non-directive questioning, provocation and helping clients to analyse and solve their own challenges, rather than offering advice or direction. (This definition was given by Timothy Gallwey, the Father and Originator of Coaching)

If this definition is right, then anything that offering direction and advice is NOT coaching. Reflection and self disclosure can be very directive.

Rapport building is very important in any form of helping, not just coaching. We can adopt a more non-directive way to build rapport in coaching, like talking about what the clients want to discuss. (i.e. 今日想同我傾D乜?). Furthermore, if we are doing real coaching, we do not have our own position or standpoint (立場). This is already the best form of rapport building as we will never argue with the coachees.

Confronting with coachee is the easiest way to lose rapport!

In the past years, I respect the above definition so much that I try my best to develop ways and models to coach without giving advices and directions. They will never be as efficient as directly giving advices or indirectly leading the coachees. However, people wants quick results and starts to do all sorts of things to "speed up" the result of coaching. The outcome is many so-called coaches practicing psychotherapy, counselling, and consulting without proper qualification, but using the name of coaching. I predicted this 6 years ago in 2001 during the 1st class of Registered Corporate Coach Training.

Think of you can have 2 tools to help your people (as a matter of fact, we can have tens of tools to help), they are coaching and advising. But if you mix up the two, we then only have one instead of 2.

Coaching is never better than all other forms of helping. But if coaching is a separate form of helping, then it must be different from others. Or it is just something old with a new name-tag.

Years ago, I already decided to take up my mission of promoting the "Pure" form of Coaching. It can be a lonely and difficult path, but I enjoy it so much!

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