The relationship between coach and coachee is immensely important - empathy and trust are essential for the coach to be tuned to the individual's goals and values and thus for the client to get the value and full benefit from the experience. From the start the coachee must also feel comfortable that they can work well with the coach. Before any assignment starts individuals will be engaged in meaningful conversations to establish early parameters with the coach.
- Coaching is a partnership of equals and a confidential relationship
CEDR coaches work to ensure there is total respect and honesty between the client and the coach, and for confidence to be maintained throughout the relationship. Coaching provides a unique opportunity for an individual to have conversations with an independent person who will be able to understand challenging difficult and tense situations. This is very important for people in key and senior positions of authority.
- The client sets the agenda
Typically a coaching programme starts with the coach working with the coachee on their agenda and agreeing goals for the coaching. Sometimes the coachee may find it difficult to be specific about their goals at the outset, but recognises that something needs to be done differently. This is perfectly normal and it is the job of the coach to help the client identify and focus on the right goals for the coaching.
- The coachee has the resource to change
A key principle of coaching is that the coachee has the inner resource to resolve their issues. Often the client may have all the answers but does not realise this or does not know what questions to ask. Coaching can enhance personal understanding and awareness and help the coachee learn how to self reflect. It is only the coachee who can make the change.
- Coaching is about learning not teaching
Coaching is not about the ‘why don't you' and the ‘yes but' game, but it may be about asking hard and challenging questions, helping clients learn and develop new capabilities and bring reality into focus. The coach's role is to ask the penetrating questions that take coachees into areas that will build their own resourcefulness and help individuals navigate through change and difficult decisions. In this respect the coach may create the environment for the coachee to understand and reach decisions on their options.
- Coaching is about change and action
People come to coaching because they want something to change; usually they want to be more effective at what they do. The role of the coach is to help them achieve this increased effectiveness. Coachees need to really buy into the fact that they might have to do something differently. It is difficult therefore to coach someone who does not want to change or who constantly defends or justifies his or her actions. The acceptance of actions and the willingness to change can be seen as strength and an important factor when managing conflict.
- Coaching addresses the whole person
While coaching focuses on the immediate needs presented there may be times when it is important to look at the bigger picture, what else is going on in the wider part of an organisation or life. There can be times especially in dealing with conflict when it is not only helpful to take a more rounded view of the issues being discussed, but it can help the coachee overcome difficulties and tackle issues in a different way.
- Coaching is energising
The most important person in coaching is the coachee. Often coaching offers a unique opportunity for 1:1 attention in that someone independent and non-judgmental is actually taking the time to listen to the coachee and can understand the business/conflict pressures that the individual has to deal with. Programmes and other types of coaching interventions will be geared to that person's needs and requirements and will contribute to bringing step changes to individuals in both their actions and behaviours.