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Understanding Different Types Of Coaching - Are You Being Advised Or Transformed?

As an executive coach or as a coaching client you need to understand what type of service you are offering or receiving. One of the biggest mistakes made is not understanding exactly what type of coach you are hiring, or not explaining as a coach which type of service you are going to give.

The following article gives leaders an overview of the types of coaching you can expect. It can also give coaches, especially new coaches, an overview of how to explain the type of service that they give. This then sets the expectation for the client.

Coaching For Skills And Performance

The first type of coach is an instructional coach. This is advisory and helps you develop certain sets of skills. This type of coach is going to pass on their set of knowledge to you as an instructor or trusted and experienced advisor. This type of coaching is directly giving information in order for someone to learn to do something differently.

The types of coaches that may be covered by these categories might be business coaches who specifically teach you a set of strategies to build your business. They may advise you on business structure and can give you specific ideas relating to how to grow your business. Another type might be organizational development coaches who may be able to coach you through changes in your company structure and setting up a division of your business for success.

This type of coaching usually assists people and companies requiring a technical change. A technical change is one which is quite often external for example you have a monetary or growth target wish you want to reach for yourself or your business.

Coaching For Development And Transformation

The second type of coaching encourages people to start using their internal resources and work towards a positive outcome. This is focusing on changing of mindset. These coaches are not required to be an expert in the area they are coaching. The premise for developmental and transformational coaching is that the client already has all the resources that they require to reach the desired goal and outcome which they set for themselves. They just need help to understand what these are and how they access them.

This type of coaching is not advisory, this is not instructional, and these coaches won’t tell the coaching client what to do next. They will help the coaching client discover what resources are required internally and externally to move forwards to an outcome or goal stated in the positive which the client has set for themselves. Then help the coaching client develop an action plan to achieve their goal and outcome.

The coach may ask a series of questions and reflections, helping the coaching client create insight for themselves. This is known to be one of the most effective ways of learning.

Coaching in this way taps into the middle part of the brain which is creative and is responsible for long term memory. This means that learning can be remembered better when trying to make change. This type of coaching encourages new neural pathways to be created by the coaching client. There is a saying: “what fires together wires together”. This is apparent when neuroplasticity occurs, changing of the brain’s neurobiology.

Transformational coaching encourages the internal firing of neurons, inspiring new ideas, new behaviours and new ways of being. This often brings about adaptive changes within a person. An adaptive change is the change which is internal to that person's way of thinking, feeling and being.

Recent research in 2018 has shown that positive emotional attractor (PEA) coaching activates the areas of the brain responsible for big picture thinking, motivation, stress regulation and engagement. This is internally induced by the coaching client. Developmental and transformational coaching helps this type of internal change.

When you are hiring a coach, ensure that you have a conversation about expectation and requirement with them during the discovery/ chemistry call you have before you embark on your journey of knowledge and development. This will help you understand if there is going to be a match for your needs. As a coach it is essential that you have this conversation before you decide to move forward with your client so that the expectation is set.

Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching from the ICF, Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC. Also further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach


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