Coaching is a development technique based on one to one discussions which aim to enhance an individual’s skills and work performance. At Astara Coaching we ensure our coaching sessions are based around specific goals; these may be work-based goals such as delivering a specific project or improve efficiency in an area of work, or may be focused on personal attributes such as increasing confidence to deliver presentations or improving leadership or interpersonal skills.
In delivering one to one coaching, we ensure that we address the ‘learning cycle’ so that individuals have an opportunity to plan any behaviour change, implement the change, reflect on it and then amend as appropriate. This increases individual self-awareness and is optimum for producing lasting change results.
Coaching is increasingly seen as a successful technique in supporting goal attainment, increasing resilience and increasing work-based well-being (Grant, Curtayne and Burton, 2009). External coaching has also been attributed to improving the psychological variables which impact upon performance such as self-efficacy, goal-setting and self-determination (The Effect from Executive Coaching on Performance Psychology, 2009).
One to one coaching is used to support individuals in achieving goals to support their work performance. The coaching techniques used ensure that clients learn to regularly reflect on their behaviours and impact of these, and learn to adapt to grow as individuals and adapt to change within the organisation. This encourages new thinking, actions and learning which encourages people to maximise their potential and increase their effectiveness and performance. This approach ensures that the performance coaching or leadership coaching experience embeds the learning behaviours so the impact of one to one coaching lasts well beyond the end of the coaching contract.
As a client you can expect 4-6 pre-planned sessions which are usually face-to-face and held approximately 4-6 weeks apart. The first session which usually involve some personal reflection on your learning style so you can understand the impact of your learning preferences on your performance at work. The remaining sessions focus on specific goals set by yourself and your coach will support you to develop specific actions in order for you to achieve your goals.
The benefits for you as the client means that the one to one coaching sessions will provide you with regular time and space for you to reflect, think, explore and gain clarity around specific issues and goals. The process will increase self-awareness, awareness of others and your effectiveness in dealing with your work and in your interactions with others. This in turn has a positive impact in terms of confidence, work-based wellbeing and job satisfaction.
For the organisation, coaching can support the development of leaders who have the self-awareness to increase their own effectiveness but also the insight and skills to develop their teams effectively. This can support embedding a strong culture of performance improvement which develops high performing organisations and teams. Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest that the coaching of staff can aid staff retention, succession planning and transition of staff to new roles.
Sponsored coaching is used when a client is seeking to improve the performance of a staff member or member of the senior team. This may be required following the identification of an issue through the staff appraisal or through one-to-one meetings, and which have not been resolved through internal processes.
In a sponsored coaching situation, the client will be involved in the initial objective setting, alongside the staff member who requires coaching. Following this the coach and staff member will work on the performance improvement objectives during agreed sessions, which are entirely confidential. However, there will be agreed times during the coaching relationship where the client is updated on progress against the objectives as part of a formal review process where the client, coach and staff member are all present.
For the staff member the coaching can support them through a key area of personal development within a structured and transparent process. The process ensures that there is an environment where shared objectives can be discussed openly and where both the client and staff member are clear about progress.