While delivering coaching programs over the last ten years we have been constantly reviewing the effectiveness of coaching at many levels. Through trial and error and careful observation, we have identified a set of best practice principles for how to coach effectively, in the following four areas.
Efficient Coaching Conversations
We found there are strong common denominators to effective coaching, and that coaching can be measured based on the effort required to get from 'A' to 'B'. Our tools, such as the CREATE and FEEliNG models, enable coaches to most efficiently help a client resolve their own question or next step. Our approach to coaching often replaces 45 minute, tiring and difficult conversations, with 5 minute focused dialogues.
Running the Most Effective Formal Coaching Session
Coaching is a specific relationship and requires boundaries, clear guidelines and expectations. There is a state of mind that coach and client should be in, to deliver the best results.
We have mapped out the format for highly efficient coaching sessions and provide these as templates for all RCS trained coaches in the Intensive Coach Training program, and Workplace Coach Training programs. Having a broad structure to follow, which still allows for flexibility, allows the coach to focus more on the moment and less on 'where they should be'. This model works for well with internal coaches as well as for executive, personal and business coaching.
Delivering a Formal Coaching Engagement
Speak to a senior coach about how to structure a coaching engagement and you will hear a common theme. The majority of the value in coaching is delivered in the first 3 or maximum 6 months. Regular sessions are best, no more than every two weeks, and sessions should be an hour each. We have researched these issues and built a framework for an engagement that is appropriate for the majority of clients.
This is 12 sessions of one hour each, weekly or every two weeks. Within this framework, we establish three goals and a set of strategies for each goal, before getting into the coaching journey. In this way the Results approach has a lot in common with best practice in change management and project planning.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Coaching
With a set of specific goals established for each coaching session, there are now ways of measuring the effectiveness of the coaching. The materials for each coach and client provide a structure to be able to measure the impact of the coaching at several levels.