Planning and preparation
Before formally engaging into a coaching relationship, I looked for a coachee, who wants to genuinely transform him/herself first to transform the organisation and society (Hargrove, 2008; Oberstein, 2009; Scott, 2002; Whitmore, 2002). I found such a person in my friend, who is a student of QUT and comes from my country. We knew each other for over four years and the friendship had embedded trust and positive relationship that made pre-coaching discussions easy. Solomon & Flores (2001) noted that such trust, based on relationship, is a freedom to realize all sorts of possibilities. However, we were not sure about the impact of coaching to the friendship. So, we prepared for such uncertainty and agreed that friendship would not bear the brunt of any coaching related issues. Oberstein (2009) and Hargrove (2003) stated that creating clarity in relationship is an important foundation for coaching process. Next, we also discussed about his personal transformation if we open up and begin the coaching journey together (Hargrove, 2003 & 2008; Oberstein, 2009 & 2010; Scott, 2002; Whitmore, 2002). Thus, the coaching contract was signed and sessions scheduled for 30 to 45 minutes at different venues, such as Brisbane river bank, QUT classroom, Mt. Coot-Tha look-out point, and a park. I carefully chose different locations to give deeper meaning to our coaching sessions in order to prevent the ‘business-as-usual’ notion given our long friendship. As Oberstein (2009) stated that coaching is meaningful conversation about the coachee’s experience and the power of possibility.
Check list of skills set
Before beginning my coaching journey, I contemplated on the coaching skills that I have and confident to use (my strengths), and skills that I need to inculcate (weaknesses). Oberstein (2009) stated that before coaching starts, it is important to deeply reflect on one’s skills and characteristics to prepare for the coaching role. As a part of such preparation, I did a SWOT analysis of my skills as shown in appendix 1 based on 360 feedback report and Jung Typology Test. From this analysis, I found out that my strengths were about asking open-ended questions, listening and responding to engage the speaker, and being aware of the situation. These strengths gave me immense self confidence and firm ground to build upon other skills that I would need for coaching (Hargrove, 2003 & 2008; Oberstein, 2009 & 2010; Scott, 2002; Whitmore, 2002). On the other hand, I noticed my weakness on neglecting details, which was inferred to the preparation stage as needing to learn details about coaching models and approaches. Coaching requires use of different approaches to suit diverse situations as way of engaging in series of conversations and creative dialogues to create solutions (Hargrove, 2003 & 2008; Oberstein, 2009 & 2010; Scott, 2002; Whitmore, 2002). This weakness of details and need to learn coaching models was further confirmed when I did an exercise titled “Why should I coach?” (Oberstein, 2009, p21). I found out that I rated very low in using coaching approaches and knowledge that would help coachee to grow. Reflecting on Einstein’s quote that problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them, I read books and articles on coaching as listed in the reference. Further, I referred to the ancient eastern philosophy of Buddhism on guru-student relationship because the responsibility and function of a guru is same as a coach, that is, to guide a student or a coachee to a higher goal (Hargrove, 2008; Oberstein, 2009; Rinpoche, 2003; Scott, 2002; Whitmore, 2002). The guru-student relationship is driven primarily by devotion based on logic, reason, trust, and discipline (Rinpoche, 2003). Borrowing this wisdom, I related that engaging in creative conversations based on logic and reasoning would establish the required discipline and trust in coaching...
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