Coaching Report # 4.

– The Behavioral Coaching Model:
Achieving Behavioral Change with validated Coaching Techniques
(includes some extracts from new text book ‘Behavioral Coaching’ by Zeus and Skiffington – copyrighted by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)

“The purpose of coaching is to produce behavioral change and growth in the coachee for the economic benefit of the client.” – Harvard Business Online, December 2004
The term “behavior” is frequently misused in training and coaching literature/programs, with little attention paid to methods of actually changing behaviors and insuring that these changes are lasting.

The definition of behavior to which behavioral coaching subscribes is: the actions, responses and reactions of an individual, team or organization. Behavioral coaching can also be defined as the science and art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of the individual or team, which in turn assists the growth of the organization. The overall goal of behavioral coaching is to help individuals increase their effectiveness and happiness at work, study and/or in a social setting.
Everyone involved in personal and professional development needs to understand and appreciate basic behavioral processes and how these relate to individual functioning and organizational performance.

Many organizations and coaches claim to use behavioral coaching simply because they are dealing with behavior. On closer scrutiny, however, they are merely attaching a new name to the old workplace counseling model; that is, the “coaching” is remedial, occurs on an as-needs rather than an ongoing basis, involves little monitoring or evaluation and does not attend to preventing slippage. Furthermore, some professionals claim to practice behavioral coaching simply because they employ personality profiling. Behavioral coaching goes beyond false promises about change and examines what we can and cannot change. It presents research-based and scientifically validated means of instilling new optimism for coaches and their clients about achieving change.

Behavioral coaching integrates research from many disciplines into a validated, user-friendly model of practice. It incorporates knowledge from psychology (behavioral, clinical, social, developmental, industrial and organizational), systems theories, existential philosophy, education and the management and leadership literature.

One of the reasons why behavioral techniques are so widely accepted is that they allow for data to be gathered on specific, targeted behaviors impacting the application of a professional skill. By using appropriate validated, behavioral change instruments, these targeted behaviors can easily be measured and evaluated in a rigorous manner. Behavioral coaching, with its emphasis on research and evidence, provides individuals and organizations a validated and proven system that greatly increases their chances of effecting lasting behavioral change.

Changing behavioral patterns cannot be achieved by using the many simplistic, outdated models of coaching still widely promoted in the coaching industry/literature. Many so-called “certified coaches” churned out by the “coaching associations” are simply doing more harm than good. Meantime, many large, high-profile coach training schools are still teaching simplistic models of coaching that employ re-labeled, old performance counseling strategies or, in some cases, scientifically unproven fuzzy techniques.
Because coaching is still in the early stages of its development, there is no agreed-upon, all-embracing model of the coaching process and practice. Previously, most efforts to construct a comprehensive coaching model originated from sports psychology.

A coaching model cannot be procrustean. It requires an in-built flexibility and adaptability so that coaching programs can be tailored to fit the specific needs of each client and coachee. For example, a coach needs to take into account their own, as well as the coachees’, differences in personality, knowledge, skills and abilities. Coachees also vary in motivation and preparedness for change.

As well as individual factors, each coachee exists within various systems, both personal and professional. These affect how a coaching program is conducted, as do factors such as the organizational culture and structure, available resources and the organization’s business objectives.

The behavioral coaching model emphasizes the following aspects of behavior and learning:

Much of our human behavior is learned.
All behaviors result in positive or negative consequences for the individual and those around him or her
Individuals are systems within systems, and each individual affects and is affected by these systems and the constant changes they are undergoing
Defining individuals’ current status and developmental progress in terms of their behavior, rather than personality traits or personality styles
Specifying the target behavior impacting on say; a professional skill, position task etc
Measuring the target behavior
Exploring and changing core values, motivation, beliefs and emotions -which can result in significant behavioral change
Assessing covert behaviors (e.g., limiting beliefs, anxiety) in relation to overt actions (e.g., speaking at a meeting)
Accessing and assessing emotional events
Assessing environmental events and the interactions between behavior and environment
Employing validated behavioral techniques
Providing statistical proof of beneficial change/learning acquisition and ROI
Employing sufficient follow-through monitoring and coachee self-coaching strategies
Many vital practice protocols, techniques and assessment instruments a professional coach requires are only available to coaches trained and mentored by a facilitator who is also a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr Skiffington’s industry-proven, fast-tracked, 4 Day Certified Master Coach Course (N.Y., London, Sydney etc.) meets the critical needs for business and executive coaches to be trained and mentored in the use of validated, reliable psychology-based tools and techniques to achieve measurable, lasting behavioral change.. Read More >….

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