What Is Coaching?
Coaching is a concept similar to counselling and mentoring. Coaching is a technique that focuses on the future whereby the agenda and goal is set by the individual. The coach helps to improve the likelihood of those goals being met through suggesting alternatives and motivating the individual. A coach is a non-judgmental individual and provides the patient with time and space to reflect and improve. Coaching also focuses on finding the answer, rather than focusing on the problem, through the use of skills, experience and being creative.
Coaching is a process that happens over time. Since it is a patient driven service, the patient will need to be dedicated, committed and willing to develop themselves.
Coaching, Counselling or Mentoring?
Counselling is a type of therapy that focuses on the past where the agenda is agreed by the individual and counsellor. Mentoring examines long term problems and teaches the individual what to do. Coaching focuses on the future, short term difficulties and goals are set by the individual.
The Basic Principles Associated With Coaching
The basic principles in coaching are as follows:
- There is always a better approach
- There is no failure, only feedback
- Begin with small steps
- Flexibility leads to success
- Praise, compliment and acknowledge success
Who Needs Coaching?
Anyone can benefit from coaching. It should be considered in conjunction with a holistic style management approach. It is not a replacement of other therapies, but will work well alongside.
Together the patient and coach will assess the patients strengths and weaknesses and learn how to compensate for those weaknesses and develop personal styles to draw on the patients strengths.
ADHD And Coaching
Because children with ADHD tend very much to think in the ‘here and now’ and not plan ahead, one of the key roles of a coach is to structure, think ahead, organise and foreshadow forthcoming events, and to help think the child’s way through them – to remember PE kit and directions for football games etc.
The coach can also be very helpful in reminding, encouraging and helping the child to stay focused and on task.
During ‘down’ periods, encouragement can be very useful and help can be given in avoiding procrastination, providing help with organisation and trying to minimise negative, destructive thinking. All this helps encourage the child’s self-esteem and promotes social skills.
How Often Does Coaching Take Place?
We would suggest a regular, at least weekly, meeting at a regular time slot, for between 30-45 minutes. There needs to be an agenda and this is often best done with the use of a notebook where items discussed are noted, and these can then be reviewed at the forthcoming meeting.
The previous week needs to be looked at and analysed as to where problems occurred, what might have been done to help, and general encouragement given. The next week is then planned ahead, potential pitfalls identified, and as much praise, support and planning done as possible.