(evidenced-based) coaching is a third wave psychological approach
(looking forward and not backward) to achieving sustainable
behavioral change in a relatively short time frame. We learn and
unlearn to established laws, and validated behavioral change
techniques can alter the way we behave.
Today, the specialist fields of behavioral neuroscience,
brain-based learning and positive psychology and have helped us open
new windows of explanation as to who we are and what we are capable
of. Behavioral coaching is evidence-based in that it applies
recent behavioral science research: 1) on why and how
“coaching” works and, 2) to bring about measurable, sustainable
learning acquisition and change.
Rather than concentrating of what leaders are,
as the traditional trait approach urges, today's behavioral approach
has enabled us to look at what people do.
Personality traits and leadership traits are difficult to measure.
How can we measure traits such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, or
diligence? To measure traits, researchers relied on constructs which
lacked reliability and, given differing definitions, also lacked
validity. Today, researchers have turned to an examination of leader behaviors. With behaviors, researchers could rely on empirical
evidence. Behaviors, contrary to traits, can be observed, assessed
Behavior = A person's actions
-which are controlled by the sum of their thinking, beliefs and feelings
about specific ideas, situations, or other people. The three primary
types of organizational behavior are: Leadership Behavior, InterGroup
Behavior and Political Behavior.
All learning leads to nothing when people don’t change their thoughts
and actions (read: behavior). 21st Century, professional coaching is an
integrative approach founded on the behavioral sciences.
Today, a coaching model must encapsulate emotions,
beliefs, values, attitudes and motivation levels. See:
Behavioral Coaching Institute's
Principles of behavior based coaching ('behavior' derived from the
term 'behavioral' sciences and not the limiting theory of behaviorism or
behavioral psychology) have developed over recent years from the fields
of evidence based psychology, neuroscience and validated and proven
organizational change principles.
The five primary
influences to behavior based coaching:
1) Neuropsychology / Neuroscience -the study of
the relationship between behaviour, emotion, and cognition on the
one hand, and brain function the other.
2) Emotion Focused Approach – how to become aware of and make
productive use of emotions.
3) Evolutionary Psychology - explains mental and
psychological traits as the functional products of natural
4) Cognitive-Behavioral Approach -how to enhance thinking
skills, conceptual thinking and decision making e.g.;
5) Solution-Focused Approach - focusing on solutions not
problems e.g.; finding out what works and and doing more of it and
stopping doing what doesn't work and doing something else.
Coaching at Work: Generally the reasons for
seeking out a coach are linked to the desire for change at one or
more of three levels. For example, there may be issues around:
- Intrapersonal skills– e.g. a desire to become more effective at
- Interpersonal skills– e.g. a desire to develop more productive
relationships with fellow workers
- Organizational skills– e.g. a need to develop a more strategic
approach to organizational policy
By positively changing an individual's
behavior at any one of the above levels the organization as a whole
will benefit as the individual increases his or her effectiveness.
are learned and can be "unlearned"-
Behavior is not a person's innate Personality:
temptation to attribute the cause of performance problems solely to
and individual motivation issues.
It is vital that today's leaders/managers understand the difference
between trying to change someone’s personality and trying to change
someone’s behavior. Unfortunately, most managers make no
distinction. Leaders/managers typically believe that the root cause
of most employees’ performance problems is related to who
they are (their personality) rather than what they
(their behavior.) They often communicate a belief -often indirectly
and unintentionally -that performance problems are related
to personality issues. A
solution is to
encourage the employee to change themselves through some personality
type profiling change program. This not only doesn’t work but
communicates blame to the employee's personality.
Behavior = Better Performance:
Behavior-based coaching provides a better, proven
framework for looking at the root causes of behavior, one that
starts with a clear definition of behavior.
The ability to describe behavior
in objective, observable terms is an important performance tool for
leaders/managers. Describing behavior in observable
terms helps managers to balance their focus on process and outcomes.
Leaders/managers also need to understand the effects of their
behavior on themselves and others.
Describing behavior makes finding a solution easier whereas
focusing on personality issues invariably makes the task very
By objectively discussing behavior, leaders/managers also
keep work-related discussions in a constructive problem-solving mode
that is less likely to make employees defensive. Objectively
discussing behavioral concerns is so much easier than trying to
change an employee’s personality or motivation. Furthermore,
discussing objective behavior makes effective communication easier.
When discussing internal attributes, such as personality, different
people have different interpretations of the terms being used.
Objectively describing behavior helps keep everyone on the same page
and lowers the risk of miscommunication.
For example; a senior manager of a large firm, for
years had received critical descriptions of himself as a controlling
micromanager. In the past, he wasn't really shown how to address the
problem because words such as controlling made statements
to him about his personality. Recently however, he begun working
with a coach who took a behavior-based approach about helping him
change his actions
rather than his so-called personality. As such, he was provided
the requisite behavioral tools to help change his thinking and
verbal behavior. Within a short time, the entire organizational
environment around him changed. People felt they could actually do
their jobs without getting approval for every single move and…more
things were getting done. The change in his behavior had
changed his life for the better and that of everyone around him.
The Need for Behavioral based Coaching:
-Traditional deployment of outdated coaching skills training initiatives
fail to produce sustainable change in behaviors.
Today's organizational goal is to utilize a
professional development change program that changes behaviors and
enhances performance so that business objectives are achieved. Many
coaches are failing this challenge to positively impact an employee's
individual perceptions, self awareness and relationship management,
and ways of approaching people, problems and situations differently than
in the past.
Too often in organizations people are hired or promoted for
their technical expertise and fail because of their behavioral
competencies. Behavioral competencies are not innate talents, but
learned abilities, each of which has a unique contribution to making
leaders more resilient, and therefore more effective. Behavioral
competencies control the leader's/manager's ability to perform, get
along with others, adapt to changing situations, and other issues.
between technical and behavioral competencies:
Technical competencies are usually learned (in an educational
environment or on the job) whereas behavioral competencies
(self-awareness, self-management and work habits and values) are
typically learned through life experiences.
Behavioral competencies are the processes or control laws that use
the technical competencies to achieve and/or maintain goals.
Traditional business coaching fails to deliver:
Traditional coaching, built around Effective Listening
Skills, Questioning and Goal Setting etc, falls well short of
developing behavioral competencies. Coachees are given feedback
about how to do it better, what to change, what the standard is for
high performance etc. However, this "one size fits all",
simplistic approach to developing competencies is ineffective as it
ignores our individual complexities.
coaching the participants shortly revert to habitual patterns at the
conclusion of the coaching cycle.
It's an expensive venture for a short-term "buzz." Thus,
the challenge for coaching professionals is to enhance
organizational effectiveness with a behavioral change and
learning model that strengthens and sustains individuals in their
The rapid acquisition of lasting personal skills and learning
acquisition is an essential challenge facing all organizations.
Training alone cannot ensure competence. It simply comes down
to changing a person's behavioral patterns—what people do and don’t
do to make the acquisition of each new skill a reality.
-- Behavior based coaching has its
foundation in the applied behavioral sciences:
The applied behavioral sciences provide a method for understanding the behavioral
side of coaching. The behavioral sciences provide us with a
rigorous way to approach the people side of the change process and show
us how to understand and successfully work with behavior if
we analyze the factors that influence the behavior. The
principles and procedures of behavior-based coaching have been developed
and verified through a combination of many years of rigorous
evidence-based psychological principles fused with proven management,
leadership and organizational change principles and practice.
The first step is to recognize that
developing a behavior based coaching program depends
on which appropriate methodology is used and the rigor with which
the necessary behaviors are identified, measured and
based coaching is also a way of distinguishing professional coaching practice
grounded in proven science versus the simplistic, unproven coaching
approach popularized by the many ill-trained and unqualified
Unleashing the full power of an organization starts with the
individual. With behavior based coaching the individual can be
shown how to self-manage himself or herself and significantly up-grade his
personal and professional skill sets, feel balanced, alert, in control
and powerful and be able to make the greatest contribution to
the organization. When an organization's people move into a zone of
optimum, sustainable best performance, so does the organization.
key to success in any coaching initiative is the selection of the
behavior based change model
client's specific needs.
The Behavioral Coaching
Master Coach Course
top-rated professional coach course
the critical needs for coaches to be trained and mentored in the
a range of
models, tools and techniques.
(Self-study, Campus or Distance Learning Format). Read
Intelligence and Behavior
New Science of Coaching
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