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Posts tagged ‘Learning’

What Is Coaching? And Other Relevant Questions

As we offer various services to help organizations transition from a traditional software development approach to a more Agile approach, we are often asked why use coaching? Assuming you are also asked the same question, you may find this short blog post useful to help you properly answer the questions.

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a method of directing, instructing and training a person or group of people, with the aim to achieve some goal or develop specific skills. There are many ways to coach, types of coaching and methods to coaching. Sessions are typically one-on-one either in-person or over the telephone. – via Coaching – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. – via International Coach Federation.

What is Coaching?

What is Coaching?

What is Coaching?

What is a Coachee?

coachee [ˌkəʊtʃˈiː] – n (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) a person who receives training from a coach, esp in business or office practice. – via coachee – definition of coachee by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

Why use a Coach?

A coach sees the best in you and for you and will help you develop your skills. A coach will support you in your personal and professional growth – and will help you to live the life you truly want. You will get in touch with your values and your vision and help you discover areas and opportunities you didn’t see before. via Why use a coach? – ICF Nordic.

A coach helps his coachee reach his goals faster and more efficiently than he would by himself. The coach helps his coachee define clear, realistic, and time-bound objectives applicable to his and develops a partnership to you achieve the coachee’s goal.

How does coaching work?

Through frequent conversations between the coach and his coachee, the coach offers an external perspective and:

  1. Helps the coachee honestly assess his current situation;
  2. Supports the coachee in clearly defining his goal and raising the expectations;
  3. Helps the coachee properly assess the gap between the current situation and the targeted goal;
  4. Works with the coachee to define an appropriate plan and take action (not only conversations);
  5. Helps the coachee anticipate and deal with the obstacles by himself;
  6. Provides feedback on the progress achieved, continuously assesses the progress and presents opportunities to adapt the plan;
  7. Questions the coachee’s self-assessment, decisions and actions taken to achieve the goal;
  8. Proposes potential alternatives to push the coachee outside his comfort zone.

Why does coaching work?

Coaching is an empirical process (inspect and adapt). The coaching process helps the coachee envisions himself in the future, making it easier to expect and the achieve the set goals. The coach helps the coachee see opportunities that the individual wouldn’t see by himself and pushes the coachee to set goals his comfort zone. As each goal requires an action plan, the coach forces more frequent and more productive sessions during which the progress is evaluated. Overall, coaching is a partnership process between the coachee and his coach.

Why would someone ask for a coach?

Coaching is not an end in itself, it is a mean to achieve a set goal. When there is a true willingness for change, the coachee doesn’t want the status quo and is receptive to being challenged in order to achieve its goal, asking a coach for help will allow the coachee to carry out their goal faster and more efficiently.

Some prerequisite questions?

Before starting a coaching process, there are a few questions the coachee needs to ask himself:

  • What am I really looking for in my professional life?
  • What really attracts me in my professional life?
  • What do I really want to change?
  • What would really spark my passion?
  • What problems would I like to resolve to become happier or more productive?


As the first of a series of posts on the topic of coaching, it is important to set the stage which is what I intended to do. Over the next weeks, I will add material to this topic and hopefully will start a conversation with you.

Why is my brain like a 56K modem?

As I was driving to work this morning, my brain was going through a list of outstanding activities I wish to complete over the next weeks: finalize the structure of the strategic committee, contact client X to present our newest offering, work with the team to write their objective in SMART format, recruit a few more consultants, finish reading “Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes“, finish reading “slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations“, start reading the draft version of “Leading Lean Software Development“, and re-read “Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Texas Hold’em“. I’m even listening to the audio version of Jack Welch’s book “Winning” when I’m in the car…

I love to learn and I like to read but there has to be a faster way to absorb information!

Then the 56K modem analogy popped-up. Sure, there are ways to improve my reading speed and yes, I possibly could try to read while I’m listening to music. It is somewhat frustrating to see that with the multiplication of information channels, we humans have limited abilities to simultaneously absorb more information.

Until someone finds a way to connect our brain to the Internet via fiber optic, I will have to continue prioritizing my activities.