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During this video, we will discuss coaching and ask what is this?  Coaching literally means to transport someone from one place to another, its common goal is to use coaching to help people to move forward or to create change.

Coaching is a process that develops a person to do either the job that they are hired to do or the job that they ultimately want to do. It unlocks barriers and overcomes obstacles that are preventing an individual from getting where they want to be. Coaching is about empowerment and about installing confidence, effective coaching installs a ‘can do’ attitude in the client and focuses on the future.

Coaching is the term used to ‘coach’ individuals to develop themselves, this is completed through effective questioning and by using excellent communication skills. A good coach does not need to be an expert in the area in which an individual needs coaching in. In fact, strangely when someone has all the skills needed to produce a result themselves, they can’t always help someone else to do it. Often it’s better if the coach knows little or nothing about the subject in question. This is because coaching focuses on behaviours and puts the ownership for improvement on the individual known as the client.

Building on the expertise of an individual it is important to note that coaching is not mentoring, mentoring focuses on technical skills rather than behaviours and is where an individual is ‘groomed’ by someone who is deemed to be in a position of expertise. Mentoring is a completely separate subject which is covered in a separate course.

Put simply coaching is a conversation or series of conversations, that one person has with another. The coach’s aim is to facilitate a conversation that will develop the client. This should always be related to achieving a specific goal or outcome.

Often coaching is informal and is completed without the knowledge of either the coach or the client. If the following aspects are completed after a conversation then it is safe to assume that coaching has taken place.

1. The focus of the conversation was primarily themselves and their circumstances
2. Their thinking, actions and learning benefited significantly from the conversation
3. They are unlikely to have had those benefits in thinking or learning within that time frame if the conversation hadn’t happened.

Considering these points, I’m sure you can identify some conversations that can be classed as informal coaching. For generations whether over a beer in the pub or as a general chat with a friend we have talked about our lives and shared troubles and dreams. These discussions often help us to realise a solution, make a decision or perhaps the conversation simply makes us feel better.

Coaching has proven results and is proven to work. The client must be committed to the coaching sessions and ensure that they take ownership for completing any agreed actions. We will cover this in the coaching contract agreement later in the training.

Effective coaching means that often the client is put in a position that they may initially find uncomfortable, it is a personal experience that often raises fears and concerns. The coach must support the client through this coaching journey but we must ensure that the sessions do not turn into a counselling session. Counselling focuses on the past rather than the future. Where this occurs and the coach feels that they cannot bring the session back on track then the client needs to be referred to a suitably qualified professional. 

 As guide coaching sessions should not require any relevant or specialist skills and should always avoid the following situations:

•  Ongoing dependency on class ‘A’ drugs e.g. heroin, crack, cocaine
•  Significant alcohol issues, e.g. someone who drinks to get through the day
•  Where someone has experienced violent or sexual abuse and needs further support to deal with that
•  Where someone is abusing others, either physically or sexually
•  Mental illness, e.g. extreme and violent mood swings, ongoing depression, etc.