Coaching Week 1 Forum Post
It was learned this week through the BUSI755 week one presentation that coaching got its start in the early 2000’s. Being that this field is relatively young it seems to still be forming. Underhill, McAnally, and Koriath, (2007) state that even the act of looking for a definition will yield many results. They go on to define the art of coaching as “The one-to-one development of an organizational leader” (Underhill et al., 2007, p. 15) Authors Bergquist and Mura, (2011) state that leaders find themselves in need of coaches due to solitude and confidentiality leaving which leave them with little to no outlets for sharing.
Concepts of Focus
The first concept covered is that of career coaching. Career coaching is guiding an individual along the path of where they currently are in their career to the next steps (Underhill et al., 2007) This process can be a challenge for many. In a study by Yera, A Ra, and Mihye, (2018) on Korean medical school students presented two opportunities: students enter schooling without a clear plan for their career then often form plan well after enrollment. In many fields people enter a career and find themselves with a desire to grow towards or transition to a new challenge in which a career coach can be of assistance. An interesting article by Smorczewska, (2018) presents the opportunity even form or construct your own leadership identity through development. Outside of the individual initiating the desire for a coach an organization may also desire to hire a coach for development of their top leadership as a way of performance development or retainment of top talent (Underhill et al., 2007).
The second concept covered is that of life coaching. For this aspect of coaching the focus is on personal goals such as financial or relationships (Underhill et al., 2007). A recent literature review defined life coaching as “A long-term efficient relationship that allows clients to maximize their potential” (Jarosz, 2016). The focus on the individual’s overall wellness in all aspects of their life help them to become the best version of themselves.
The third concept covered is content-specific coaching. This approach is used to enhance training programs already in place (Underhill et al., 2007). In an article by Crawford, Zucker, Van Horne, and Landry (2017) they provide three key dimensions and strategies that can be used with this coaching approach. The three dimensions are structural (Parameters of frequency, duration, etc.), process (Behaviors used to support change), and content (Topic of focus). The three strategies are reflective questioning (Used to determine how participants are responding), feedback (Used to identify strengths and weaknesses) and demonstration (Used to show how it looks). Overall it seems as though this is the most structured approach to coaching.
The fourth concept covered is appreciative coaching. Gatling and Harrah (2014) discuss how authentic leadership, a genuine desire to understand in order to serve others, has a positive effect on coaching effectiveness. This aligns well with Bergquist and Mura (2011) approach to appreciative coaching which includes understanding another person, valuing another person, recognizing the contributions of another person, establishing a positive organizational image of the future, recognizing distinctive strengths and competencies, and acknowledging the value of diversity. This approach considers the mindset of the one being coached. It resembles some features of transformational or servant leadership styles and seems most effective.
The fifth and final concept covered is coaching skills. Bergquist and Mura (2011) state that there are five skills: Freeing communication (Attentive engagement), contextual knowledge (Thinking logically and abstractly), feeling through action (Working through feelings), reflective inquiry (Ongoing review), and coaching leadership (Learning serving and taking risks together). There appears to be extremely little research around the areas of skills or traits that the most successful coaches exhibit.
The field of coaching individuals is a complex business. It is no longer a tool used to hold accountable poor performers in an organization. Now coaching is a positive proactive tool. However, because this was its past there is a stigma that must be overcome. Culture of an organization or a person’s background must be considered in order to determine if there needs to be an effective marketing plan to present the coaching opportunity in a positive light (Underhill et al., 2007). This development is of great strategic advantage. “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27, NKJV)
Bergquist, W., & Mura, A., (2011). Coachbook: A guide to organizational coaching strategies and practices.
Crawford, A., Zucker, T., Van Horne, B., & Landry, S. (2017). Integrating professional development content and formative assessment with the coaching process: The Texas school ready model. Theory Into Practice, 56(1), 56-65. doi:10.1080/00405841.2016.1241945.
Gatling, A., & Harrah, W. F. (2014). The authentic leadership qualities of business coaches and its impact on coaching performance. International Journal Of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring, 12(1), 27-46. Retrieved from, ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=94988316&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
Jarosz, J. (2016). What is life coaching? An integrative review of the evidence-based literature. International Journal Of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring, 14(1), 34-56. Retrieved from, ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=120546580&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
Smorczewska, B. (2018). Leadership as the construction of one’s own story. Australian Journal Of Career Development (Sage Publications Ltd.), 27(2), 81-87. doi:10.1177/1038416218777826
Underhill, B., McAnally, K., & Koriath, J., (2007). Executive coaching for results: The definitive guide to developing organizational leaders. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishes, Inc.
Yera, H., A Ra, C., & Mihye, K. (2018). Development of a systematic career coaching program for medical students. Korean Journal Of Medical Education, 30(1), 41-50. doi:10.3946/kjme.2018.80
The Maxwell Leadership Bible (2007). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.