Soft skills: Introduction to coaching – Three frameworks (Video)

Posted on: June 1, 2020

I have produced a 10 minute video on soft skills: Introduction to coaching – Three frameworks. This includes an overview of John Whitmore’s GROW model, the OCM’s SMILE model and the compassionate coaching movement’s Intentional Change Theory (ICT). The video also considers the range of soft skills needed for effective coaching.

(Video script)

Hi. I’m Kim Tasso and today we will look at what coaching is and you’ll learn about three key coaching models or frameworks which you will be able to apply.

You’ll see that I’m wearing a BASEBALL CAP – now is that because most people think about coaching in terms of sports coaching or am I suffering from a bad hair day under lockdown?

Coaching is a key tool in helping people adapt to change and develop to their full potential. So it’s vitally important at the moment as we all face incredible changes in our work and home lives and a rather uncertain future.

Every leader and manager needs to develop coaching skills to get the best from their people. Coaching is important for training, development, delegation, motivation and change management.

How I became involved with coaching

But let me start with a story…

Long ago, I was working on a consultancy project combining my two professional backgrounds – management and psychology. I was helping to negotiate a collaborative business arrangement between my client which was a psychology consultancy and a leading coaching organisation. I was really interested in what I learned about coaching during that project. So I asked the creator of the coaching company – Eric Parsloe – if I could study with what is now OCM.

Eric had first embraced coaching as a father – with rugby coaching for his son and then when he set up the first multi-media e-learning business – The EPIC Group. I think it was the first such company to get an IPO. He was a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and had written many books on the subject.

To my great surprise and delight, Eric offered to be my personal supervisor if I did the course. That 2001 course and the experience of coaching a team of professional service firm leaders during my training was transformational. You can learn more about my background, qualifications and work in psychology and coaching in this video.

More recently, in my research with lawyers, HR and L&D professionals at law firms for my book on “Essential soft skills for lawyers” – to be published by Globe Law and Business – the topic of coaching arose many times.  And during lockdown many people have started to experience the benefits of on-line coaching…

So what is coaching?

There are lots of definitions of coaching….

Eric said “Coaching is a process that helps and supports people manage their own learning in order to maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be”

Coaching is a process – It’s different to mentoring. It’s not telling but asking questions and listening to help the person find their own answers

So it’s really good for developing people’s confidence as they create and find their own answers

But you need empathy to be a good coach – to see things from the person being coached’s perspective – not yours. You need to see things from their perspective

Lots of other skills involved including: creating solutions, problem solving, managing performance, teaching and guiding, offering perspective, providing feedback, exploring for information so QUESTIONS & LISTENING are key.

So let’s start with one of the earliest models –

1. The GROW model

(Plant – Frangipani) And a plant is a really good metaphor for this model – this is my third attempt at growing a Frangipani

Probably the best-known model for coaching is by Sir John Whitmore (BOOK – and this is a really simple introduction to coaching)

GROW – Goals Reality Options Will to act

But sometimes people don’t know their goals so I find it’s useful to explore reality first

A similar version is the 4Os: Objectives – Overview – Options – Outcome

2. The SMILE model

At OCM I learned and applied with Eric the SMILE method (Smile toy belongs to Bert – I can’t get him to demonstrate it right now as he’d run away with it)

SMILE – Self Managed Integrated Learning.

There are four stages to this model too…

1. Analyse for self-awareness
2. Plan for responsibility
3. Implement using assessment, styles, techniques and skills training
4. Evaluate success

People learn in different ways – there’s lots of material on learning styles

We go through lots of emotions as we tackle change – I prepared a short video on the emotions we experience through change  – It’s not surprising when you lean that we act on habit 70-90% of the time

There’s another SMILE model – from Sandra Retzer in China

• Set up the agenda
• Measure and motivate
• Inspire the vision
• Let go of emotions – Learn the lessons
• Express through action

Gabriele Oettingen developed a strategy for mental contrasting called WOOP. (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan) This relates to the idea of mental contrasting: optimists and pessimists. Those that combine a positive view of the future with an understanding of the obstacles and barriers are most successful

How you think about the future impacts cognition, emotion, and behaviour.

3. Intentional Change Theory

The most recent model in ICT – Intentional Change Theory (I’m using a warm heart shaped hot water bottle here as it is described in a book as compassionate coaching – Book cover)

This is the 2019 book called “Helping people change – Coaching with compassion for lifelong learning and growth” by Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith and Ellen Van Oosten.

It’s based on neuroscience and is evidence-based. I wrote a review of this book a short while ago if you’d like to learn more

The authors define coaching as “a facilitative or helping relationship with the purpose of achieving some type of change, learning or a new level of individual or organizational performance”.

They stress the need for positive energy – to focus on strengths not weaknesses

They also show that the desire to change must outweigh obligation to change

The authors outline the stages of their Intentional Change Theory (ICT) (Slide)

1. Identify the ideal self and personal vision
2. Explore the real self – both strengths and weaknesses
3. Establish a learning agenda
4. Experiment with and practice new behaviour
5. Maintain resonant relationships (based on mindfulness, a positive emotional tone, the arousal of hope, an authentic connection and compassion) and social identity groups

On that High Quality Connection (HQC) connection

This links to Humanistic approach in psychology and counselling/therapy theory – It means that to be an effective helper you must follow three principles:
• Empathy
• Congruence
• Universal Positive Regard

Humanists believe that people naturally self-actualise but sometimes get stuck – Imagine a plant. It wants to grow – but sometimes it gets stuck. In coaching we try to help people become unstuck so that they can grow and reach their full potential

Of course, there’s much more to coaching. In 2017 reviewed a book with over 70 coaching models (BOOK)

And qualified coaches draw a lot on Positive Psychology

Thanks for watching

“It’s training Kim but not as we know it”

Related videos on professional and personal skills

Emotions when reacting to change 

Building resilience

Working with different personalities

Other coaching articles

Book review – Helping people change with compassionate coaching

Book review – Neuroscience of organizational change

Book review – 70 coaching models 

Limiting assumptions 

Coaching skills – the power of questions 

Ready to change? The change process

Business development coaching 

12 tips from a coaching and mentoring course

Career coaching and counselling 

Key coaching skills – active listening 

The art of giving feedback 

Takeaways from a coaching skills course

Leadership – emotional contagion, coaching and delegation

Personality assessments in coaching 

12 thoughts on coaching, delegation and team management

Coaching and mentoring fee-earners and staff

Learning styles

The learning process 

Book review – Crazy Busy (dealing with stress) 

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