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5 myths about coaching


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Experiences with coaching in the Indian market, for leadership development practitioners, coaches and talent management professionals.

Experiences with coaching in the Indian market, for leadership development practitioners, coaches and talent management professionals.

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  • 1. Five Myths About Coaching Bimal Rath July 2013, Delhi NCR 1Think Talent Services Confidential
  • 2. Some inferences..  Over the years, I have coached (formally or informally) many managers and leaders, students and professionals.  I believe that many individuals are not exploring and leveraging the benefits of 1-1 coaching, and taking advantages of coaching experts due to some widely prevalent myths.  These myths are also becoming roadblocks in talent and succession management for many organizations , who could benefit from coaching.  In addition, some 1-1 relationships, while being called coaching, may be delivering different value, e.g., advisory.  These are my observations for the Indian market, and maybe relevant in a limited context (although I believe that some may apply to broader markets). Executive coaching for professional managers and leaders is in an early evolution stage in this market. Think Talent Services Confidential 2
  • 3. All coaches have grey hair.. Think Talent Services Confidential 3 Coaching requires functional expertise.. I am unique and no coach can help me.. Coaching is only relevant if I am part of an organization.. Coaching will make me successful overnight.. (and will solve all problems)
  • 4. Myth 1 : All coaches must have grey hair..  A coach having contextual experience does help in some ways.  Listening and asking the right questions without judging are key coaching skills. Experience can often blunt these skills.  Sheer length of experience in a coach may also sometimes create a ‘senior-junior” relationship.  In a coach, musts are- the skills of encouraging openness, creating trust and asking non- judgmental questions appropriately.  Coaches who have used past experience to embrace beliefs allowing people their own uniqueness are likely to be more effective. Think Talent Services Confidential 4
  • 5. Myth 2: Coaching requires functional expertise..  Pure functional coaching may require functional expertise. Expertise in a functional subject (except in coaching) may be more useful in an advisory, mentoring or training relationship, rather than coaching.  The role of the executive coach, however, is to ‘help the individual help themselves’ rather than give them expert answers.  Almost all individuals are capable of finding their own answers. The coach can help a person in developing the ability to reflect, making choices and then taking appropriate action in the chosen direction.  Coaching requires expertise in helping the coachee become more aware of their beliefs, attitudes and behavior patterns. Think Talent Services Confidential 5
  • 6. Myth 3 : I am unique and no coach can help me..  The first part of his ‘mythical’ statement is true, Each of us is unique, and that is exactly what the coach works with.  A coach can help the person hone their uniqueness in a more meaningful way towards personal and professional effectiveness.  Often, the uniqueness posture may be a defense against opening up or making oneself vulnerable.  It could be an education gap —how a coach can really help may not be fully understood by a person, sponsor or manager. All of us can benefit from a good coach in our lives. Think Talent Services Confidential 6
  • 7. Myth 4 : Coaching is only relevant if I am part of an organization..  Organizations often sponsor coaching for individuals as part of their leadership and talent development agenda.  This is even more evident in sports and performing arts—any world class professional has a coach. Their journey of excellence is enhanced by the coaching relationship—ask any top sportsperson.  The broader question could be :  As an individual, do I wish to invest in my development?  If the answer is yes, coaching may be one of the options, and not the only one. Think Talent Services Confidential 7
  • 8. Myth 5 : Coaching will make me a success overnight.. (and will solve all problems)  Coaching can allow opening of new avenues for growth, changing perspectives and helping improve effectiveness by removing barriers or by shifting habits.  It cannot be a solution for short term performance issues which is sometimes expected when hiring a coach.  The answer may lie in other things-fitment into a job, manager support, skills training etc.)  Often, sponsors see coaching as a ‘correctional’ move as against a ‘potential enhancing’ mechanism.  Coaching must be viewed as one of the people development tools to be used alongside other organizational and HR tools. Think Talent Services Confidential 8
  • 9. And finally some words about breaking these myths..  Education and conversations are the key – Coaches and HR professionals can play a leading role – Improved ethical practices and values of coaches will help propagate the right mindsets and skills  Role modeling by coaches will help speed the ‘real’ evolution of coaching. Coachees and sponsors must have great experiences with coaching.  There are no black and white answers of course, since each coach is unique, and will feel, think, learn and practice in their own way.  A possible formula for coaches : “Right personal values + effective skills + relevant process” Think Talent Services Confidential 9
  • 10. About me..  I’m a avid believer in people and their potential, and have not been proved too wrong yet. My biggest investments in trusting and just letting people ‘be’ have all paid off—creating young entrepreneurs, solid corporate executives and just unique individuals in their own right. Trust and patience with people comes easy to me.  My boutique consulting company ( is trying to work at creative yet practical people, team and organizational development solutions for organizations, mostly tuned towards the new world with continuously evolving features of how people interact, learn and use skills and knowledge.  Coaching, consulting, history, reading and music are all close and enthralling activities for me. I mentor a few young companies/teams and enjoy the energy and the astoundingly grounded thought process youth brings.  In my coaching practice (in context of this presentation), I use the NEWS model, which is great at helping people navigate themselves (see next two slides) Think Talent Services Confidential 10
  • 11. NEWS™ – The Coaching Framework I use this for helping navigate individuals HOW? How do you plan? How do you execute? WHY? What motivates you? What are your drivers? WHERE TO? Where are you going? What is your direction? What is your strategy? WHY NOT? What are your limiting beliefs, stoppers and difficulties? Think Talent Services Confidential 11
  • 12. OrganizationalInterpersonalPersonal Strategic LinkTeam Leadership Personal Leadership Compatibility with the Organization Team MotivationSelf Motivation Organizational Execution Team Management Self Management EmpowermentTeam Development Personal Development The “12 Box“ possible solutions (possible areas for coaching towards success in organizational context) Think Talent Services Confidential 12 The starting point can be both mindset and skills in any of these areas based on the initial self assessment
  • 13. 619, 6th floor, ILD Trade Centre, Sec – 47 Sohna Road, Gurgaon – 122001 T: +91-124-405 5375 W: My Coordinates (and I’d love some comments) 13Think Talent Services Confidential