martes, 12 de mayo de 2009

Lo que el coaching NO es

Hoy en día, todo el mundo hace "coaching" sobre cualquier tema. Además, existen varias escuelas de pensamiento y también distintos enfoques "técnicos". En mi caso particular, diplomado Procoach en Londres, es un enfoque más "operativo" del coaching. De todos modos, hay una serie de puntos en común a todos los enfoques; y hay equivocaciones que no deberíamos cometer: aquí va un decálogo.

El vídeo de hoy nos acerca a una rareza musical, poco conocida fuera de Louisiana; es la llamada música "cajun".

An excerpt from "Empowerment through coaching", escrito con Manuel Ferrández

What coaching is NOT

It turns out obvious that, despite the multitude of changes occurring in the business world, most managers have not substantially modified their way of acting. Many people don’t have an accurate idea of what, in practice, means "coaching". Therefore, coaching turns into one of those fashionable ideas, which, in practice, are often discarded with contempt. Nevertheless, coaching is no magic, so hereafter we want to wipe out some erroneous concepts.

1 - Coaching cannot be defined

Actually, coaching is a well-defined process, which possesses a starting point and a finishing line. What’s different is that the heart of the process is the potential of the person. That’s why it’s so demanding to gauge; although, as we already anticipated, it’s not impossible.

2 -Coaching is psychotherapy

Frequently, managers elude initiating a coaching process because they are afraid that entering that unfamiliar world demands them to turn into some kind of psychologist. They surmise that they will have to dive into the darkest inner secrets of the coachee. Actually, somehow, they must appeal to some basic psychological tools in order to deal with the behaviors they might encounter. But having studied psychology is not a compulsory requirement for being a good coach. It’s just necessary to be prepared for managing personal and emotional questions. Truth to be said, it’s not that easy, because normally our education, typically business or technical education, has not prepared us for that; but let’s not relinquish any hope.

3 - Coaching is about making people feel happy

Many managers think that coaching means doing what they already do, but taking in account the "feelings" of their people, due to the fact that when they are required to do coaching, they center on the human being. Actually, although managing is, simplifying to the max, making people do things, coaching consists of helping the individuals manage the problems by themselves. As a collateral effect, it is most true that they will be more happy and motivated, but that was not the initially intended outcome.

4 - Coaching and mentoring are the same thing

A coach doesn’t construct emotional links. A mentor does. If someone doesn’t fulfill a commitment, a mentor might say: “You have disappointed me”. On the other hand, in the same situation, a coach would say: “This is what you said you would do, and you are not doing it”. Coaching always sustains on sheer facts.

5 - A coach is someone who encourages

Any coaching process begins with an analysis, shared, of the strong points and of the improvement points. Coaching is very much orientated to action. A coach doesn’t only praise the efforts; he helps his coachees understand what they have to change in order to reach their professional goals. So, sometimes he praises the positive outcome of a specific action, and sometimes he highlights what has not been done and where posterior efforts are to be put.

6 - Coaching demands a lot of time and resources

Managers dread that coaching is very demanding in terms of time, and consequently that diverts them from initiating such a process. But, for a good manager it will be enough to devote five odd percent of his labor day to coaching work. And finally, he will discover that this effort, seen as an investment, eventually helps him save time. In the long term, the remuneration is high. You help the individuals understand and integrate how to solve their problems by themselves. A coaching process can last between three months and two years, true, but it’s a part-time job, and it depends on what we want to obtain from the coachee.

7 - It applies to all kinds of situations and businesses

Well, it depends... Actually, a magic recipe doesn’t exist. Later on, we will explore what circumstances are the most appropriate and what are not. We can already hint that this has to see with the motivation, according to Maslow’s pyramid, level of the person at a specific moment.

8 - Not everybody can receive coaching

If a relation of coaching doesn’t work, for instance, if anybody involved in such a process doesn’t respond as expected, probably it’s due to the fact that the coach is making the wrong moves. But if eventually coaching really doesn’t work, it’s compulsory to discover what blocks the coachee, without assuming that the whole responsibility belongs to him. If someone doesn’t respond to a coaching process, probably some problems exist in the relation. Before assuming that it’s impossible to fix it, it would be suitable to change coach.

9 - The well-trained coachees will leave the company

Some managers are afraid that if they help someone develop himself and reach his professional goals, this will inspire that individual to look for new horizons. It’s most true that some individuals will want to leave and, whatever their motive, it will be impossible to stop them. However, all human beings possess hidden resources. As soon as they start discovering them, realizing how they can use them within their current company, they get enthusiastic and therefore are less prone to look for external adventures.

Though it’s always possible that some employees might leave the company in a quest for new challenges, many others will feel indebted with the company and will be more faithful to a company that’s interested in the professional development of its employees. And that’s not just positive thinking.

10 - Coaching is not concerned by profitability

Here it’s important to be careful. We were commenting on it initially, do you remember? We talked about the ROI of coaching.
Many managers consider coaching to be a “minor skill”; i.e. something that doesn’t produce an immediate rise in the figures. Actually, coaching generates results, notably more consistent than many other people management approaches.

From a qualitative point of view, the HOW, coaching develops creativity in the individuals. It encourages them to be more flexible, to adapt themselves to new situations. And the response from the coachees can induce, without any kind of doubts, a substantial effect on the income of a company. Nevertheless, it’s also true that it’s important to optimize the resources devoted to coaching. They must be those, which, time given, will provoke a great impact in the company. Coaching supposes an investment in someone; and it will provide real results, but not in the short term.

La frase de hoy
47. Realize that if you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.
Anthony J. D'Angelo

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