EXECUTIVE COACHING 101: What makes a good Coaching Relationship?

For the coaching programme to deliver on its goal and objectives there must be a good relationship between the coach and the client (“coachee”). The elements of such a good relationship are:

CONFIDENTIALITY: the client must be assured of confidentiality of the content of the Coaching Programme sessions. Giving feedback on the progress to the sponsor of the Coaching Programme is limited to the programme’s impact, the process, experience made, and its effectiveness in addressing the challenges identified.

TRUST: the coach and the client must earn each other’s trust. This is the investment over time, but it is absolutely crucial since the coaching programme sessions agenda is never determined in advance. The coaching sessions belong to the client and the client determines the agenda.

RESPECT: the coach and the client must have respect for each other. For example, if there is an arrangement to meet for the session or to deliver on certain aspects of the coaching programme, this must happen within the agreed time frame. If there are any changes, such changes must be communicated to the other party in time.

HONESTY: Following trust and respect, is honesty. Coaching is an ethical professional practice. Once the other party feels that the other party is not honest, the relationship is gone forever. It will be difficult to restore such lost relationship.

THINKING PARTNER ROLE: the coach and the client are each other’s thinking partners. This means that the coach will in many instances create the environment that enables the client to expand his/her thinking capabilities. This is through questioning techniques, using metaphors, application of coaching models, demonstrations, role playing, examples, storytelling, reflections, comparisons, etc.

EQUAL PARTNERS: coaching requires the coach and the client to regard each other as equals. It has nothing to do with the level of education, knowledge of the sector, or the understanding of the client’s work. It is more about the application of the coaching model (perspectives, process and purpose) to unlock the capacity in the client to deal with the challenges at hand. So, unlike in mentoring and teaching or training), in coaching the coach and client are equal partners.

CONTRACTUAL COMMITMENT: the relationship in a Coaching Programme is of a contractual nature. There are obligations and responsibilities for both the coach and the client. While most of these are contained in the formal coaching contract, the application and adherence to the specific clauses of the coaching contract happens in the interaction between the coach and the client.

APPLICATION OF “DANCING” WITH THE CLIENT PHILOSOPHY: the coach’s approach to the coaching session is guided by the client’s conditions at the point in time. The coach follows the agenda of the client, but should also be observant of the moods, desires, feelings and views of the client. A good coach does not have to be told about all these. He/she should easily detect them, especially if the coaching relationship has developed over time.

FULL PRESENCE: the coach must be fully present during the coaching session, and the client must feel the coach’s presence. Active listening is fundamental to a successful coaching session. The coach must not listen just for the sake of pushing time through. There must be a follow through that suggests that the messages are being heard and understood. Body language, gestures and affirmations are all part of being fully present and attentive to the client.

ENROLLMENT: To enroll for our Three Months, Six Months, Twelve Months, or Twenty Four Months Coaching Programmes contact Ms Portia Diketane, Administrator: Coaching, Mentoring & Consulting Sector, COMETSA GoC International (Pty) Ltd, at tel +27 11 974 9308, email: callcentre@Cometsa-GoC.com ; or visit www.SamTsima.com or www.Cometsa-GoC.com  

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