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Magazine Issue 75: Coaching Skills
September 2016

This month: Thoughts about Coaching Skills

Article: Coaching Skills
New Resources
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

Coaching Skills

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Coaching Skills The third of three short Articles that introduce key concepts in coaching.

"Transformed people transform people." Richard Rohr

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Professional Development, Educators

Tags: Coaching Skills CPD
Are you a coach?

How would you know? Is coaching about what you do, the skills you have, the kind of person you are or about the impact you have on others? Does the label 'coach' matter? Sports coach, business coach, life coach, instructional coach, leadership coach, executive coach - are they distinct and different or do they share common features? Can someone have the effect of a qualified, accredited coach without ever formally learning to be one?

Below are some pointers for thinking through these questions:

What is a coach?
Here's a broad definition. Do adapt it for your own context:

A coach is a person who can empower others to become more sustainably effective in their lives, work and learning. In an equal partnership, coachee and coach explore challenges, issues and opportunities, agreeing actions and goals for professional and personal growth along the way.

Feel free to take this text and make it into your own definition of a coach. What would you change, add, remove? How would those with whom you work modify it?


Features of a coach: Being a coach vs having coaching skills

The skills, behaviours and actions of a coach are influenced by their beliefs, values and ethics. Someone who has coaching skills focuses on the former: it's about what they do.Someone who is a coach also works with the latter: what they do as a coach will be grounded in a moral purpose. This difference is descriptive not judgmental.

Here's an illustrative but by no means exhaustive list of the skills of an effective coach:

Communication
The ability to share meaning clearly and with a minimum of 'noise'. A coach will be aware of their shared responsibility for what is understood during coaching. They will be alert to the barriers that exist to effective communication and will work with verbal and non-verbal modes.

Building/Maintaining Relationships
The ability to connect effectively with people. A coach will know themselves and be able to quickly get to know others. They accept diversity in personality, culture and experience and have no trouble bonding with a wide variety of individuals.

Reflective Learning
The ability to look back at performance and seek out learning for growth. A coach will be honest in their self-appraisal. They will celebrate their successes and learn from their failures. They maintain a proactive approach to continuing professional development.

Self-Care
The ability to manage personal well-being. A coach knows that looking after their own well-being is a prerequisite for working productively with others. A coach aims for a well balanced life and has organised their own coaching and supervision.

Here's an illustrative but by no means exhaustive list of the components of an underlying moral purpose:

Values
The concepts that are held to be important in life and those which you are prepared to defend as 'right'. A coach will be aware of their own values and be able to discover those of others. A coach does not impose their values during a coaching session but aims to discover, respect and work with the unique values of their coachee.

Beliefs
The concepts that you hold to be true even though there may not be irrefutable evidence for them. If beliefs are challenged it can prompt an emotional rather than intellectual response. A coach is aware of their own beliefs and is sensitive to those of others. A coach does not impose their beliefs during a coaching session but aims to discover, respect and work with the unique beliefs of their coachee.

Ethics
The concept of what is right and wrong. A coach is aware of their own sense of right and wrong; of what is permitted and what is not. They aim to work with the ethics of a coachee rather than impose their own during a session. However there are some important exceptions. For example, if a coach believes that a coachee is at risk of harm or of harming someone else or if a law has been/may be broken. These situations are rare but nevertheless a coach will have discussed them with a coachee before work begins.

Trust
Trust can be defined as integrity plus credibility: integrity is coherence between what you believe and what you do; credibility is about whether others think you'll do what you say. A coach builds trust quickly by being honest and by working confidentially. A coach does what they say they'll do, because of what they believe.

Working with these features
Spend some professional time with colleagues contemplating what these 8 features mean to you. You might like to consider:

1. What do we actually see and hear when these features manifest during coaching?

2. How could you adapt the definitions to represent your own understanding?

3. What should the 9th and 10th features be?

4. Is it possible to be a coach if one or more features are missing?

5. What other professional activities display these features?

Read the other two articles in this series:

What is Coaching
Coaching Toolkit


New Resources:

A-Line Time Planning

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A-Line Time Planning An adaptable Thinking Skills Tool for improving productivity through time management.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Planning, PSHE

Tags: Time Management Productivity Leadership Prioritising Study Revision
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

A-Line Time Planning Powerpoint

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A-Line Time Planning Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in PowerPoint to help demonstrate and apply A-Line Time Planning.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Planning, PSHE

Tags: Time Management Planning Revision Study Productivity Leadership
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Skills Think Sheet - Values

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Skills Think Sheet - Values A Think Sheet for getting to grips with values.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Secondary, PSHE

Tags: Values Patchwork Thinking
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

What is Coaching?

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What is Coaching? An Article that once and for all might define what coaching could be. Sometimes.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Professional Development, Educators

Tags: Coaching Mentoring Integrative Coach Mentor

A Coaching Toolkit

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A Coaching Toolkit An Article summarising an approach to building and maintaining your collection of tools and techniques for effective coaching.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Professional Development, Educators

Tags: Coaching Mentoring Professional Development

Values Think Sheet - Trust

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Values Think Sheet - Trust A new style Think Sheet to help pupils explore the meaning of trust.

Categories: Think Sheet, PSHE, All Ages, Teaching & Learning

Tags: Values Trust
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Values Think Sheet - Community

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Values Think Sheet - Community A Think Sheet combining levels of challenge with a deeper understanding of 'community'.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, PSHE, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Communication Challenge
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Patchwork Thinking

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Patchwork Thinking A very popular Thinking Skills Tool that uses basic subject knowledge to make creative connections. Straightforward to plan and run in class. Makes content memorable and interesting.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Connections

Books:

Excellence in Coaching
by Jonathan Passmore

Excellence in Coaching <br>by Jonathan Passmore An industry standard with contributions from experts in the field. Includes chapters on Coaching Approaches, Coaching Culture, Measuring Impact, Issues & Ethics and Supervision.

I used this as a core text while studying for my ILM executive coaching qualification last year. It gives a broad and solid base for understanding what coaching is and for contemplating the challenges you might face as either a freelance coach or as one working within/for an organisation.

Available from Amazon

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Categories: Suggested Books, Professional Development

Tags: Coaching

Next month we think about...Inspiring Educator John Dewey