Impressions of a participant
Coaching as a leadership skill
The Henley Business School PCEC – the "Professional Certificate in Executive Coaching" – allowed me to participate in an extraordinary kickoff with exceptional personalities. I am impressed by the complexity, power and intensity of coaching in all its facets. For most executives there is no way around this tool and skills set in the New/Next-Normal. Driven by the leadership and cultural change in the agile-digital age, coaching of employees in companies is becoming increasingly relevant, while traditional methods such as the transactional leadership style alone are no longer sufficient.
The definition of Coaching
The ICR (International Coaches Register) defines coaching as " collaborating in partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential". In this context, coaching is to be distinguished from "related"areas that take place between two individuals, such as performance management, mentoring, consulting or even therapy. "Coaching is the release of a person's potential to maximise their own performance. It helps them learn rather than teach them" (Whitmore, 1992).
Theory and practice go directly hand in hand
Workshop 1 – "Foundations in Coaching" – marks the beginning of the journey with and from Henley Business School/ University of Reading. First and foremost is the definition of coaching and the question: "Who am I as a coach? The answer is mainly derived from various analysis models about oneself, e.g. based on C.G. Jung. Even if coaching in its self-conception focuses on the coachee, the examination of one's own personality, the inner self, is essential as a coach. From the "MBTI framework" to "Harons' intervention styles" and the "strengths framework" – always in interplay with "reflective learning" – the scope and depth of the contents to be learned are directly apparent. Theoretical aspects such as "coaching ethics" or "core communication competencies" are then directly accompanied by practical implementation. In various roles as coach, coachee or observer, initial frameworks are tested in practice. Practice makes perfect.
Intensive & Unique
I have learned that I am better than I initially assumed – congratulations. But just as quickly you are back in a dead-end street, stumbling in communication or imperfect procedures. The complexity, consisting of the right technique (a.k.a. framework) at the right time, controlling one's own thoughts, following the statements of the counterpart by active listening, the so essential red thread, makes every practical exercise maximally intensive – and at no time intuitive. However, if you enter the flow of right questions, connectedness, trust, reflection and insight, a unique experience is created. And then – a little – you help to learn instead of teaching.