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#Lightbulb Moment 4 Roles and responsibility of high level coaches - getting the right one!



The role of a coach and their effectiveness in undertaking the role is complex and challenging.

Role of the Coach:

The role of a coach is to build a positive relationship built on trust and rapport. They must have the ability to make the person being coached feel supported and comfortable. Their role is to aid development and to allow the person being coached reflection time and space to recognise their potential and to achieve their goals. The coach must recognise it is not their role to offer advice or solutions, but rather to facilitate an environment where the person receiving coaching can feel safe to explore and self-reflect on their actions or personal views.

Through skilful questioning, listening, paraphrasing, summarising and using questioning in a non-threatening or judgemental manner to aid feedback, coaches should draw knowledge and experiences out of the person being coached, to allow them to set own goals and ways forward, and empower the person being coached to identify their personal strengths, areas for development and thereby reflect on next steps and solutions to success.

The role of the coach is always to provide positive intent and ensure the person can reach decisions with clarity with regard to their aims and goals. To do this it is important that the coach recognises the need to be a good listener.

A common mistake that less effective coaches make is that they can manipulate the coaching session with their own agenda and allow their own ego to dominate the conversation and learning. When a coach is less experienced, or frankly not good in their role as a coach, they can lead the session in the role of a mentor rather than facilitating deep thinking and thereby exploration of self from the client.

Responsibility of the Coach:

However, the responsibility of the coach is different. The responsibility of a coach is to identify a narrow focus and inject challenge into the questions being asked to ensure the person being coached receives value for money and recognises progression at the end of each session/s. It is their responsibility to guide the client to consider and reflect on sometimes difficult and sensitive issues, and to help them to navigate their way through solutions or actions to support them to move forward.

It is imperative that quality time is provided and a clear programme of support is agreed with the person seeking coaching. Coaching is not bereavement counselling, or marriage guidance for example, but rather is a mechanism for ensuring that the person seeking coaching can understand their own perceptions, biases, attitudes and behaviours and can reflect on or amend their practice in order to achieve specific and identified goals and aims. The use of feedback sheets is vital in this process. A coach should be constantly adapting to the changing nature of the client's needs and should be aware of their need to respond professionally to feedback in order to ensure that the time invested in the session continues to be productive.

The coach is also responsible for ensuring that the process is built on professionalism, through the use of contracts and clear understanding of what is acceptable or not within sessions. Agreeing timescales, structures and boundaries for each session and agreed payment should be an imperative part of this process.

It is the responsibility of the coach to maintain ethical integrity, confidentiality and to record effectively to ensure accuracy and engagement. The responsibility of the coach also relies on ensuring that appropriate tools and techniques are modelled effectively in order to aid reflective practice and provide a solid platform for engagement and credibility.


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