The Structure of Coaching
Coaching is an interaction between two activities: support and challenge. To support means to encourage, comfort, strengthen, validate, and reinforce. To challenge means to confront, question, test, and dare. Support and challenge must work together in a balanced way. If support is provided without challenge, people will feel good, but they do not change. Conversations will be enjoyable but will have no clear outcomes. People's thinking and perceptions are accepted, but they will have no opportunity to see things differently. The person doing the coaching is a cheerleader rather than a facilitator of change. If people are challenged without support, they may be compelled to change, but are bulldozed in the process. Goals are developed, but they may be overambitious. Thinking is challenged, but in a way that leads to intellectual sparring or defensiveness. The person doing the coaching is a driver rather than a facilitator. Support and challenge are what you do when
This Four-square Coaching Framework provides a structure for coaching. Each square represents astage, or phase, of the coaching process. The leader who understands and uses this structure along with the competencies that make it work will be able to act as a catalyst for individual change and problem-solving within an environment of support, guidance, and encouragement. The goal of each stage is briefly explained be10w and a simple example provided to show how a coaching conversation may move through the various stages. The remainder of the book will be devoted to understanding and using the Four-square Coaching Framework to he1p people change, resolve problem situations, or attain their deve1opmental objectives - while simultaneously enhancing one's transformationalleadership capabilities.