Content: Behavioral Coaching, Behavioral Coach, Behavioural Coaching Model, Behavioral Coaching, Behavioral Coach
 

Coaching Articles:                      1) The Behavioral Coaching Model
                                                               2)
 How Behavioral Coaching is being used today
                                                                >> More Articles and News on Behavioral-Based Coaching


 
The Behavioral Coaching Model:
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Achieving Behavioral Change with validated Coaching Techniques
(includes some extracts from new text book 'Behavioral Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington -
copyrighted by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)

The term "behavior" is frequently misused in training and coaching literature/programs, with little attention paid to methods of actually changing behaviors and insuring that these changes are lasting. 
 
The definition of behavior to which behavioral coaching subscribes is: the actions, responses and reactions of an individual, team or organization. Behavioral coaching can also be defined as the science and art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of the individual or team, which in turn assists the growth of the organization. The overall goal of behavioral coaching is to help individuals increase their effectiveness and happiness at work, study and/or in a social setting.

Everyone involved in personal and professional development needs to understand and appreciate basic behavioral processes and how these relate to individual functioning and organizational performance.

Many organizations and coaches claim to use behavioral coaching simply because they are dealing with behavior. On closer scrutiny, however, they are merely attaching a new name to the old workplace counseling model; that is, the "coaching" is remedial, occurs on an as-needs rather than an ongoing basis, involves little monitoring or evaluation and does not attend to preventing slippage. Furthermore, some professionals claim to practice behavioral coaching simply because they employ personality profiling. Behavioral coaching goes beyond false promises about change and examines what we can and cannot change. It presents research-based and scientifically validated means of instilling new optimism for coaches and their clients about achieving change.

Behavioral coaching integrates research from many disciplines into a validated, user-friendly model of practice. It incorporates knowledge from psychology (behavioral, clinical, social, developmental, industrial and organizational), systems theories, existential philosophy, education and the management and leadership literature.

One of the reasons why behavioral techniques are so widely accepted is that they allow for data to be gathered on specific, targeted behaviors impacting the application of a professional skill. By using appropriate validated, behavioral change instruments, these targeted behaviors can easily be measured and evaluated in a rigorous manner. Behavioral coaching, with its emphasis on research and evidence, provides individuals and organizations a validated and proven system that greatly increases their chances of effecting lasting behavioral change. 

Changing behavioral patterns cannot be achieved by using the many simplistic, outdated models of coaching still widely promoted in the coaching industry/literature. Many so-called "certified coaches" churned out by the "coaching associations" are simply doing more harm than good. Meantime, many large, high-profile coach training schools are still teaching simplistic models of coaching that employ re-labeled, old performance counseling strategies or, in some cases, scientifically unproven fuzzy techniques. 
 
Because coaching is still in the early stages of its development, there is no agreed-upon, all-embracing model of the coaching process and practice. To date, most efforts to construct a comprehensive coaching model have emerged from sports coaching.
 
A coaching model cannot be procrustean. It requires an in-built flexibility and adaptability so that coaching programs can be tailored to fit the specific needs of each client and coachee. For example, a coach needs to take into account their own, as well as the coachees', differences in personality, knowledge, skills and abilities. Coachees also vary in motivation and preparedness for change.
 
As well as individual factors, each coachee exists within various systems, both personal and professional. These affect how a coaching program is conducted, as do factors such as the organizational culture and structure, available resources and the organization's business objectives.
 
The behavioral coaching model emphasizes the following aspects of behavior and learning:
  • Much of our human behavior is learned.
  • All behaviors result in positive or negative consequences for the individual and those around him or her
  • Individuals are systems within systems, and each individual affects and is affected by these systems and the constant changes they are undergoing
  • Defining individuals' current status and developmental progress in terms of their behavior, rather than personality traits or personality styles
  • Specifying the target behavior impacting on say; a professional skill, position task etc
  • Measuring the target behavior
  • Exploring and changing core values, motivation, beliefs and emotions -which can result in significant behavioral change
  • Assessing covert behaviors (e.g., limiting beliefs, anxiety) in relation to overt actions (e.g., speaking at a meeting)
  • Accessing and assessing emotional events
  • Assessing environmental events and the interactions between behavior and environment
  • Employing validated behavioral techniques
  • Providing statistical proof of beneficial change/learning acquisition and ROI
  • Employing sufficient follow-through monitoring and coachee self-coaching strategies.

 

How Behavioral Coaching is being used today:
(Adapted from the book 'Behavioral Coaching' by Skiffington and Zeus -With permission from the publisher McGraw-Hill Professional -New York)

 

Over the last two decades of conducting our behavioral coach training and certification courses, we have tracked the ongoing development of Behavioral Coaching (BC). Some of the major areas where we have trained coaches to successfully work/specialize in include: executive coaching (CEO’s), transformational leadership coaching, coaching female executives, coaching in education, business coaching, cross-cultural coaching, sales coaching, coaching in the health care industry and personal coaching.

 

Executive coaching

Behavioral Coaching for leadership development occurs with selected executives, senior managers and teams or as part of a company-wide coaching initiative. Coaches, both internal and external, are also contracted to work within a specific business unit or with individual referrals. Some areas of leadership coaching include: leaders in transition, new hires, high potential individuals being ‘groomed” for promotion, individuals in new positions, management competencies to complement technical expertise, developing and communicating a strategic vision, strategic planning, culture change, ambassadorship, leading executive teams, overcoming isolation and interpersonal skills such as communication and dealing effectively with colleagues and with power. 

 

Business coaching

 

Business coaches work with small to medium enterprises to develop and grow the business. Coaching entrepreneurs, start-ups, mergers and developing a business in order to sell it are some of the more common areas of business coaching. Within these broad categories, Behavioral Coaches, who usually have a background in small business, coach for business or strategic planning, developing and growing the market, staff relations, networking, life balance, time management and partnership conflicts.

 

Transformational leadership and behavioural coaching

 

Behavioral Coaching leaders for transformational changes involves changing the very way they think, increasing their ability to deal better with ambiguity and be more creative and reflective. It effects change in what the leader knows and enhances their ability to step back and reflect on assumptions previously taken for granted. These may be about culture, values, the self, organizational objectives and vision.

 

Some documented benefits of leadership coaching include: enhanced ability to develop and foster trust; increased accountability within the organization; developing and maintaining more satisfactory relationships with the Board, shareholders and employees; enhanced credibility and influence as an ambassador; increased ability to align others to the company’s vision and mission; successful change management projects; enhanced managerial competencies; a growth in self-responsibility in self and others; developing a culture that truly values learning and development.

 

The manager as coach and behavioural coaching

 

Behavioral Coaching involves managers aligning their team and employees to the organization’s objectives and vision and fostering independent and creative problem-solving.  Another expectation of managers is that they develop their staff. There is, after all, a consistent body of research that shows a direct link between human capital management and superior shareholder returns.

 

Behavioral Coaching offers managers a methodology for enhancing the individual or team’s current skills. They thereby develop employees who are committed and trusted to use their discretion and judgment to act in ways that are congruent with organizational objectives and goals. Managers have to manage and coaching is simply a vehicle for them to enhance their management skills.

 

Coaching executive women

 

Women executives not only face those issues common to all leaders as discussed above, but have to contend with other challenges, some external and some a function of their internalized beliefs and misconceptions about women in leadership.

 

Because of the increasing number of women in the workforce and in executive positions, there is a greater demand for women to be coached. Some of the most common coaching issues that surface include: life balance and the expectations of peers and family, political maneuvering and relationship building with key stakeholders, being assertive, delegating and managing dissent and conflict.

 

Coaching Program Managers (CPM’s) and behavioral coaching

 

Coaching Program Managers, trained in Behavioral Coaching methods and techniques, fulfill many roles. Typically, they are involved in coaching programs from their inception. As internal coaches, they often introduce coaching into the organization and oversee and manage its delivery. They may also be the person designated to manage a coaching program introduced by an external coach provider.

 

BC and Education

 

One of the expanding areas of Behavioral Coaching is in the field of education. Behavioral Coaches provide individuals, groups, teachers, students and administrative personnel with a wide variety of coaching interventions. They train senior teachers to coach new and experienced teachers and students as well as establishing and monitoring peer coaching programs. Coaches also work with students on life skills, study skills and social skills as well as career choice and preparation.

 

-Coaching the teacher

BC is not simply another term for traditional mentoring or peer supervision between teachers. Instead, coaching focuses on assessment of the teachers’ strengths and weaknesses, developing a personalized action plan and working to the coachee’s agenda rather than that of the governing educational body. The coach’s role then, is distinct from supervision and is unrelated to performance evaluation. Of course, if the coachee wishes to set objectives around performance evaluation, the coach acts in a strictly confidential role as support, guide and giver of feedback.

 

-Peer coaching

Experienced teachers also derive significant benefits from coaching, especially in relation to enhancing their skills and general professional development as educators. The aim of peer coaching is to refine present teaching skills and it has proved particularly effective with senior teachers.

 

Peer coaching allows teachers to share a professional dialogue about the science and art of teaching. It involves teachers receiving support, assistance and feedback from fellow teachers. Typically, all teachers involved in the peer coaching program are trained in the fundamentals of BC including goal setting, action planning, interpersonal and helping skills.

 

-Coaching students

Teachers, of course, have to teach and they do not have the resources or time to individually coach all students. However, two types of coaching, namely Cognitive Coaching and Coaching for children with Attention Deficit Disorder have been translated to the classroom.

 

Teachers also employ BC techniques when coaching students in a group setting. The group may be composed of students who have a common problem to address or may be part of a life skills coaching curriculum. Indeed, a study of socially-rejected fifth graders found that coaching improved their social skills and increased their ability to be liked by peers.

 

-Coaching for academic success

Because few high schools, colleges or universities have the resources to offer students individualized attention, more students are employing Behavioral Coaches to work with them on both personal and academic issues.

 

Career coaching

 

Behavioral Coaching for careers and career transitions offers individuals support, resources and guidance during what are often stressful times. Many organizations recognize the importance of career development as a means of retaining staff. Hence, they offer internal career coaching programs often conducted by external coaches.

 

Coaching in health-care settings

 

Behavioral Coaches work with individual physicians, supervisors and administrative personnel in hospitals and other public and private health organizations. Some of the coaching areas include: personal leadership, management skills, managing interpersonal conflicts with and among staff, career development and career transition. Executive coaching services around leadership and management skills in hospitals typically focus on competencies for doctors in management and leadership positions. These include resource allocation, strategic planning and meeting the demand for profitability while maintaining medical values and ethics.

 

Sales coaching

 

In our first book (‘The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work”), we explored  sales coaching in relation to the following areas: negative beliefs and expectations that can impact on sales performance and the coach’s role in working with salespersons in the ‘flow’, ‘panic’ and ‘drone’ zones. We also discussed coaching skills for the sales manager. Increasingly, Behavioral Coaches work with sales managers to enhance their management and coaching competencies.

 

Cross-cultural coaching

 

Coaching individuals and teams in cross-cultural settings is a rapidly expanding niche for Behavioral Coaches. Such coaches are specialists who know about and can guide and support others through the complex process of cultural adaptation.

 

Chartered Public Accountants (CPA’s) and coaching

 

Increasingly, Chartered Public Accountants (CPAs), attorneys and other financial advisors are coaching other practitioners and entrepreneurs as an add-on their traditional services. CPA’s particularly, are recognizing the need to become a trusted advisor to their clients, being able to work on vision, mission and strategic planning.  Studies show that their clients benefit from coaching especially in the areas of smarter goal setting and a more balanced life style.

 

Others areas where Behavioral Coaching is used:

 

The application of Behavioral Coaching is not limited to the above mentioned areas. It also entails coaching coaches including those in the executive, business, personal and sports arenas. Furthermore, Behavioral Coaching is carried out in the military, the civil service and other public institutions and non-profit organizations as well as the legal profession. Christian coaching and Spirituality coaching also employ behavioural coaching methods, tools and techniques.

 

In summary, the application of behavioural coaching methodologies is employed in a growing number of areas. These include corporations, small businesses, public and private organizations such as health and education and the personal development realm.  Within this vast arena, Behavioral Coaches form an alliance based on trust and commitment that aims to foster productivity, growth and well being according to the coachee’s agenda.

Note: One of the first published case studies (Mold, 1951) on the effect of coaching was Manager's as a Coach. The case study focused on creating a coaching culture and involved each manager coached by their superior. The program objectives, including the manager's exploring and accepting their emotional competencies, such as fear and aggression, were all met.

 

 

 

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Content: Behavioural Coaching, Behavioural Coach, Behavioural Coaching Model, Behavioral Coaching, Behavioral Coach