Top Flight Displays of Coaching
An article in the Financial Times (dated 7th February 2013) explains how the RAF have adopted techniques from business management with occupational and sports psychology to build a bespoke and focused coaching model. Distinguishing this from counselling the article focuses on the benefits achieved by using cognitive coaching techniques, the main one being that the coached servicemen outperformed the control group of the non-coached.
The first task of the coaching psychologist was to over-come the perception that coaching was "fluffy", "mumbo jumbo" and "psychobabble". This was achieved by simply teaching coaching skills of listening, questioning and reflecting with enquiry back to the coachee, which raises self-awareness and leads to the identification of cognitive coaching needs. Then, specific coaching interventions and support would be tailored for the individual.
This kind of approach has shifted the perception of coaching away from being seen as a ‘fix for something wrong’ towards a focus on the accelerating the development of top performers. The low cost of the coaching against the benefits achieved means that resistance has fallen away.
"It works", says the commentator "because the coaches develop through their own self-awareness".
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