Content: coaching, coaching systems, the holding environment, learning partnerships, Systems approach in coaching, management,
coaching model of change, holding environment for coaching,  coaching systems management, organizational coaching,  systems model of coaching, coaching model of change, holding environment for coaching, systems management, coaching models, coaching, business coaching, psychology and  systems coaching, coaching framework, coaching template, coaching, coaching systems, the holding environment, learning partnerships, Systems approach in coaching, coaching models, psychology, organizational coaching, coaching, systems coaching, coaching models, coaching framework, coaching template, systems model of coaching,


The effectiveness of coaching in
an organization depends on the development
of the right systems framework.


       Certified Master Coach Course - Some Introductory Notes: -Coaching System and Coaching Models:
      Developing the organizational 'holding environment' for coaching to
          -And the need to integrate the 'holding environment' within a coaching systems framework ©

           Coaching System and Coaching Models -extracts from 'Behavioral Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington -published by McGraw-Hill, New York)

The Holding Environment -a Definition

Winnicott and Bowlby helped revolutionize thinking about relational psychology, specifically the concepts of the ‘holding environment’ and attachment theory which is now applied in many learning settings, including coaching. 'Holding' is also used as a metaphor to both derive meaning from the language of the process and to apply that meaning within a broader systems framework to effect significant change.
The Holding environment is a term from developmental psychology describing the people, places, tools, and rituals that surround us at any given point in our lives. The holding environment is also seen as a figurative "safe space" for people to talk about what is going on with themselves and their organization. It is where they can talk with one another about the challenges they face, debate issues, and clarify assumptions etc. A good holding environment offers the security we need to engage life and encourages us to take risks in order to grow. A poor holding environment provides insufficient supports for life's challenges, stunts growth and triggers reactive behavior. For example: each person undertaking any learning or change effort, will (at some point) ask themselves: How big is this challenge relative to my ability to meet it? What support mechanisms are being provided to help me attempt this change? (read: Am I being well held?). How can I enhance my ability to succeed ? Given the support I have -should I scale back my goals so they can be better met?

It is especially important for organizations to create a holding environment at the establishment of a coaching program, when people may feel challenged and vulnerable or just unsure about their involvement in the coaching process.

Developing Strong Learning Partnerships
To create an effective 'holding environment' for coaching requires more than technical or professional skills. It requires that coaching practitioners look at themselves and the quality of presence they bring to the coaching process. Our ways of being and interacting have as much influence as our words. Successful coaches have typically developed high levels of personal awareness and are able to use themselves as an instrument of change within the holding container they have created.

Each coach therefore has the responsibility to ensure they are able to form a container in which coaching can best occur with their client. This holding environment provides a climate of trust between the educator (the coach) and the learner (the client/coachee). The adult educator Laurent Daloz (1999) says: To engender trust is central to any strong, nurturing relationship. But although the trust that characterizes an early relationship owes much of its strength to the ascribed authority of the 'teacher', more mature trust is sustained increasingly by the shared commitment of each partner. It must be constantly recreated.

The importance of a trusting and confidential relationship with their coach is especially important for leaders who (as they climb the organizational tree), can experience increasing isolation and the absence of confidantes.

Building Emotional Scaffolding
Within the container of the coaching relationship, the coach uses various skills that both support and challenge the client. The ability to provide the right balance of support and sufficient challenge for a learner to stretch beyond their current level of capability is a critical skill required of any successful people developer. This co-created relationship also provides the emotional scaffolding that can carry clients through periods of self-doubt and isolation and even rejection by others around them. 

The need for a Systems Approach
When we look at the various domains of groups within organizations we can clearly see the interdependence and influence they have on each other. People, corporations, organizations, groups, and interpersonal relationships are all open, living systems and that is why coaching cannot be done in isolation.

Systems within Systems
To look at the coachee in isolation is to ignore or discount the systemic reality of being part of a living system. We are all systems within systems and as with all systems are influenced by, or are the influencer of all of these systems and the constant changes within them.  The executive affects every system he/she impinges on and every system that system impinges on and so on.  As coaching practitioners any time we influence or enter the environment we impact their system and so on, and so on. 

In exploring and assessing (diagnosing) the coachee’s presenting issue or reason for being coached, the coach needs to assess the coachee’s other systems. The coach and the coachee may get more impact or leverage in effecting the desired result of the coaching program by working with a system other than the one being presented as the issue, e.g. you may need to have the coachee implement some changes in their relationships or belief system to improve performance in their job. There is also the opportunity to learn what has been effective (behaviors or beliefs) in one system and then transfer it into another system.  Other times it may be necessary to stabilize or enhance one system, which will then have a positive impact on the other systems. So two strategies are to compensate for weakness, stress, or defect in one area by receiving energy or mental or emotional gains in another and the other is to actually transfer what works in one area and bring it into another area.

The Organizational Coaching Dilemma -How to develop a Systems Framework for the Coaching Model
As the coaching model of change and learning is adopted and quickly proven recent research tells us that the number of managers, leaders and other personnel with defined development needs has significantly increased while proportionally the number of qualified, well-trained "coaches" (internally and externally) who can competently address their needs is lagging significantly behind in numbers. Today, most organizations are now finding themselves possessing limited resources to cope with the demand for the two primary levels of coaching: structured formal coaching for managers/leaders provided by specialist trained internal "coaches" and spot coaching/informal coaching delivered by the 'leader as coach'. 

Professional internal people developers need a new framework in which to think about how to best manage the provision of these specialist coaching developmental services throughout their organization. Many internal people developers are now building a system of working that not only holds their people, but also holds the larger system as well – a system in which specialist coaching services are integrated at all levels and implemented throughout the organization in a way that supports all those involved. This is not only a unique and successful way of working with managers/leaders and their development needs but also the organization as a whole as well.

The Leadership Challenge -and the need to develop a Systems Model of Coaching
The challenge for all senior leaders is developing a strategic plan to achieve business goals whilst at the same time manage the context or culture of the organization to enforce consistency, whilst also supporting creativity and innovation. To manage learning systems, leaders must reconcile ambiguity and competing tensions inherent in complex environments. This requires leaders to expand their capabilities in the form of social and emotional intelligence to apply cultural and conceptual skills, to build relational networks and successfully self-manage their own human factors to better manage themselves and others.

Today's organizations now need to develop a representational mechanism for relating and integrating the coaching/learning environments, create an integrated ontology that considers and relates these elements, and make use of it to define new collaborative coaching/learning scenarios. Senior internal people developers therefore need to identify a suitable ontology and its basic elements that can provide a successful application model. To find a solution to this challenge the Behavioral Coaching Institute has combined a number of theoretical and applied psychology approaches used widely in areas such as education, training and work psychology. The resultant framework has proven to be a successful foundation for organizing the elements in this type of ontology. The ontology provides the structured elements that form the conceptual structure for the definition and construction of the coaching environments, and the analysis and assessment of group collaboration.

The Systems Model of Coaching (SMC) Template -Some Benefits
This proven framework provides organizations a Systems Model of Coaching (SMC) enabling them to expertly work with relationship systems and to develop coaching activities using appropriate technologies. The SMC integrative Model also provides the organization's people development managers a means to better develop and manage a whole range of coaching activities. This in turn provides the organization's various coaching practitioners a standard of practice and a map of the micro and macro learning design domain space. 

The SMC Template also provides a “best practice guide” highlighting how to best create a coaching activity (via the effective use of tools
and resources in implementing activities), and a language and structure by which coaching practitioners and their managers and sponsors might discuss and plan the development and implementation of coaching activities.

The key to success in any coaching initiative is the selection of the appropriate behavior based change model to fit
the client's specific needs.
The Behavioral Coaching Institute's industry-proven Certified Master Coach Course (world's top-rated professional coach course -ICAA Survey) meets the critical needs for coaches to be trained and mentored in the use of a range of validated, reliable behavior based coaching models, tools and techniques. See: -The Institute's invitational, fast-tracked, Certified Master Coach course (Self-study, Campus or Distance Learning Format).  Read More >..

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