Wednesday, December 20, 2023

9 Coaching Practices that Promote Excellence Through a Culture of Accountability

We are pleased to share an article entitled  “9 Coaching Practices that Promote Excellence Through a Culture of Accountability”  written by  Maria Connolly.

Excellence results from focused, energetic, and consistent supervision and training. Can you think of anyone who has achieved excellence, without some kind of coaching? I can’t either! We reach our full potential when we enlist the help of others who have already walked the path we want to travel. The coaching culture of accountability is invaluable for stepping up our game and deepening our understanding of how people change, plus it gets us out of our way.

Why is coaching so necessary and empowering? Because we all, at one time or another, suffer a disconnect in the process of wanting, planning, and achieving. For example:

  • We dream of an idea that makes our heart sing, but then we get distracted or become overwhelmed.
  • While mapping out our plan, we try huge, impossible steps, and get discouraged.
  • Our goal is in sight, but then internal or external roadblocks get in the way, whether it’s negative feedback or we haven’t learned the necessary skills yet.

Magnificent coaches have learned the secret to healing this disconnect. The key to moving toward excellence is creating a culture of assessment and accountability. 

A culture of accountability involves clear expectations, open communication, and strong leadership. Whatever stage of the journey we’re on, we can benefit from coaches who provide that kind of accountability. 

Coaches do enjoy an accelerated path to their full potential through organizations, such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF). They offer different types of coaching for each level of your journey. Perhaps you’re considering engaging either a Mentor Coach or a Supervision Coach. Both are vital to a coach’s success. Both help a coach grow, deepen, and expand. Both are necessary to ensure that the coach maintains integrity and ethical standards.

How Do You Know When You Need a Mentor Coach or a Supervision Coach?

Mentors offer their expertise and are educators. They help us develop specific skills needed to receive certification and advance our careers. They also help uplevel or hone our skills.

Supervisors offer a different perspective and are guides. When we need to expand the way we SEE ourselves and our world, the person who helps us is a Super“VISION” Coach. They oversee us when we’re engaged in an activity or task and keep systems orderly or ensure that it’s performed correctly. Supervision is desirable any time there is an ethical question or you feel stuck.

All excellent coaches, including Mentor and Supervision Coaches, manifest best coaching practices. They have the ability and willingness to be vulnerable and humble, admit mistakes, and are skilled at active listening, modeling best behaviors, creating clear boundaries, analytical skills, and giving honest feedback.

Self-management is an essential part of coaching others, though you’ll rarely find it at the top of any competency skill. Yet without it, none of the other skills can be fully embraced. Before we can support someone else’s growth and development, we must learn to keep our own emotions, fears, and agendas in check. As a coach, when you develop powerful skills in your thinking processes, communication styles, and forms of behavior you can achieve excellence and help your clients do the same.

8 More Practices that Promote a Culture of Accountability and Personal Responsibility

  1. Be Non-Judgmental. All your clients deserve respect. Be open to learning from them, they all have something to teach you, even those who stretch your patience. When we allow our personal judgments into the room, we’re never fully present and neither is our client. They will sense negativity and won’t open up to you.
  1. Be Charge Neutral. Stay calm and ensure your client is never placed in a compromised position, having to promote or defend their statements. Remain in the role of questioning and clarifying. Be involved enough to be empathic and enthusiastic, yet be truly objective and emotionally detached from the issue at hand or the outcome. 
  1. Be Specific with Your Acknowledgment. Focus on your client, helping them feel valued and understood. Instead of shallow, generic compliments, be specific about your feedback, such as, “You showed some real initiative and creativity in how you approached this problem.”
  1. Be a Champion. Take a stand for your client by reminding them of their values, strengths, and abilities that they take for granted or haven’t noticed. This helps position them to meet new challenges with confidence. It’s also what can encourage them to let go of the status quo and push through to new possibilities.
  1. Be Supportive Yet Firm. Hold your client accountable for their thinking and their actions in a way that supports their growth. Your job isn’t to make them comfortable but to point out their blind spots so they can move forward. 
  1. Be a Believer in Your Client. There’s no need to fix your client since they already have the answers, if you ask the right questions. Focus on helping them get the results they want, instead of what you think is best. See your client as naturally creative, resourceful, competent, capable, and whole. The coach is simply helping with discovering, uncovering, or polishing the individual that people already are. 
  1. Be a Coach Not a Problem-Solver. Focus on coaching their internal way of being, beliefs, values, mindset, and development, not their problem, goal, or circumstances. Far-reaching transformational internal changes result as your client increases her capacity as a  person.
  1. Be Skilled at Asking Powerful Questions. Uncover what’s really important and empower your client to tap into their own knowledge, expertise, and personal values, so they find their own answers.  Your job is to help your client think, rather than think for them. Open-ended questions asked with genuine curiosity have the power to change lives. They can jumpstart creativity, change perspective, empower self-belief, and create powerful calls to action. Ask questions that are penetrating without being threatening, and thought-provoking without being leading. Avoid statements and suggestions disguised as questions.

Coaching Is About the Client’s Agenda, Not the Coach’s Agenda

In the process of coaching, excellent Mentor Coaching and Supervision favor the process versus the content, as they support growth versus telling the client what to do. Three red flags to watch for are:

  1. Working too hard
  • Giving away solutions and solving problems rather than creating possibilities for your client to solve their own problems.
  • Tracking progress and constantly summarizing your conversation may unwittingly be leading the client, rather than supporting them.
  • Getting sidetracked by too many details.
  1. Engaging your own ideas and attitudes
  • Becoming overly sympathetic and doubting your client’s abilities.
  • Jumping to conclusions. 
  • Getting sucked into your own past.
  1. Desiring personal approval, which clouds objectivity
  • Focusing on your client’s approval reduces your ability to listen and coach on a deeper level. 
  • Lacking the confidence to share your insights, as needed.
  • Angling for business support, like testimonials, at inappropriate times. 

Becoming a magnificent coach means paying attention to these red flags on a regular basis. At each coaching session, be aware of your presence and how you are contributing to your client’s growth. As you do this, your client will benefit and so will you as your gifts will grow over time. 

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