The IT industry continues to be a booming one. An area that is constantly innovating and attracts the best talents. As this industry continues to grow, apart from the need for specialists in various technologies, there is also a need for people to manage these specialists. Team Leaders, Managers or Project Managers that know how to effectively use the talents and resources of the company.
The jump to a management position requires a different set of competencies and abilities and therefore an effort from both the organization and those who are in these positions or are preparing for them to develop these skills. The tools which organizations have at their disposal vary – training, mentoring, follow-up sessions after the training, moving between various departments and the list can go on. In this article we will talk about one of these tools and that is coaching.
Coaching programs for IT professionals are rather the result of a series of factors, personal choices, support for Agile and Project Management systems or an effect of learning and internal transformation within companies. However the need for coaching is on the rise and will no doubt create trends in terms of demand in the following years – no matter which business areas we talk about or what challenges people face in their private lives.
Still we must be aware of certain aspects.
The impact of a coaching process can be unexpected due to two particular perspectives. The first one relates to selecting the coach and the second one has to do with the coaching model being used. Also the effectiveness of the coaching process can sometimes stop or diminish. It can be a simple roadblock or something more profound in the challenges that the client faces.
What can we do in these situations?
1. Choosing the coach. It is said that Richelieu maintained his strong position due to the intelligence of his actions. But very few know that he relied quite a lot on the advice of father Francois Leclerc du Tremblay, the real grey eminence of the French catholic church. Nowadays these advisors don’t wear a robe and live among us promoting personal development, an increased quality of personal life or the business actions of those who request their services.
However not every advisor is a Coach. In order to define the term it is important that we define what a coach is, more exactly from what position will he work from. In your private and business life you meet a lot of well-intentioned people, who are ready to help. Experts who never let go of their “I am always right” attitude not even for a bigger fee. They lack the skills for active listening, always willing to get in the conversation with a soundbite. Or juniors who want to compensate their lack of experience through imagination and being nonconformist.
A coach is someone who works in a partnership, who makes the person being coached feel comfortable, who earns his trust and doesn’t judge. The position he adopts is that of an alter ego. Therefore the dialogue will be sincere and private. The one being coached must answer questions he never asked himself. And for the Coach it is desirable that he helps the relationship grow naturally and that he remains an alter ego.
2. There are a lot of models in the coaching world. Whether they are called SOL, RAAGAA, FUEL, SOLVE, OSCAR, CLEAR, COACH, STEER, CIGAR, GROW or TGROW they all use the power of open questions asked from different perspectives or at various moments which aim to solve personal challenges.
What is revealing is the power of the model. Coaching is a structured conversation, which is had in order to improve your personal or professional life. These steps, no matter how they are called, have been validated in the last 20 / 30 years through the results achieved by those who went through a similar process: sportsmen, entrepreneurs, managers, doctors, IT people, actors, painters, singers, etc. But pay attention to the fact that these results were achieved not through awareness, or intent or the attitude of the person being coached towards the process but rather by the enthusiasm for the tailored solution that the person came up with!
3. Simple roadblocks can appear due to the temporary inability of the person being coached to generate a couple of possible solutions to the changes he or she faces. There are many reasons for this: everything is very new, patterns of thought, pressure, stress or emotional wellbeing. One or more of these can make the person being coached see no alternatives. And this is very normal seeing as people are educated to think based on certain patterns or filters: temporal, logical, ethical, religious, caste or merit.
In order for this process to move further it is important that the roadblock be identified by the coach and also he must use various techniques to help the other person power through. For a temporary client this roadblock can be jumped, broken or detoured. However this attitude may be lacking. The solution as a coach is to change the filter or perspective – from mental to emotional, from spiritual to physical.
4. The power of the coaching model (whatever name it has) can also be stopped by the dilemmas of the person being coached, his unhealthy patterns, cognitive dissonance and filters used on their principles, values, beliefs and mission statements. Coaching however must not. Although it is said training can solve behavioral challenges and for all the others there is psychotherapy things aren’t necessarily like that. Not in Life Coaching or Business.
Coaching can help you in this moment without having to take a step back in the past – like you do in psychotherapy – or like constellations do in a ultra-protective and abstract way. Coaching itself can evolve with the coach and the person being coached – the tension level depending on a miraculous help (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). More exactly strategies like the Timeline, Parts Integration, Disney Model, Changing Beliefs are just a couple of the nuances which will make the journey for the person being coached more relevant and transforming. And in the end this means a personal change toward being better.
So make sure you have these ideas in mind in order to fully benefit from the positive effects or coaching.
by Iulian Ionita