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Why traditional coaching needs to be reinvented

Coaching is an essential tool that can boost creativity, encourage a person to reach their potential and nurture career aspirations. In recent years, coaching has picked up traction – as we started seeing more specialized coaching areas emerging – career coach, career change coach, job search coach, nutrition coach, leadership coach, mindfulness coach, confidence coach, and the list goes on. What most of these have in common is that the majority follow the legacy of a very traditional coaching process – the one that established institutions teach and provide certifications in order for one to practice coaching professionally. Frankly speaking, these models are impractical in the work-place and do not consider important parts of a person’s development journey – the build-up of psychological resources and the access to measurable results accounting for the actual behavior change.

The challenge with these traditional coaching models such as the GROW model or Transformational Coaching is that they alone are not enough to drive sustainable change in an individual. The conventional approach is missing one important aspect – understanding human behavior and its interconnection with how the brain processes change. Sure, traditional coaching still has its mark and benefits but with the emergence of new research in areas of behavioral design and neuroscience – there is definitely a great deal we can use in our coaching practices.

traditional coaching

With the advance on neuro-coaching we do not just focus on evaluating people or helping them set their goals, action plans and motivation, but we also look at how our brains best learn, process information and adopt change. What impact can it have on the coaching process? What impact will it have on the outcomes of this coaching journey? How can the person best learn and implement the change they are looking to make in a way that actually sticks? Modern and brain-friendly coaching practices will require a person to implement actions that are trackable and consistently performed – including changing their behavior, incorporating new habits, replacing old habits, and ultimately transforming their mindsets. Therefore, when we look at coaching practices – we need to be mindful that these aspects are very important to consider – traditional coaching models did their best until now, it is time to inject modern and proven methods to its core.

With that being, coaching has not only gained momentum for the individuals but also for organizations – as more look to incorporate coaching into their team development models – particularly leaders who are now realizing the critical importance of coaching to develop agile and human-centric organizations. The world of work is moving faster than we can sometimes keep up and the traditional command-and-control managerial style is dead. Managers do not have all the answers, and now we see more and more the shift towards leadership models where managers provide support, facilitation and guidance to their teams rather than a to-do list – supporting employees on how to adapt to the ongoing changes in the workplace, which also contributes to creativity and innovation in organizations. The successful manager now and certainly in the future is a 'coach' – the one that asks the right questions, supports employees and creates opportunities for them to grow and develop.

In our work with corporate clients, we support these ‘future of work’ manager-coaches to consider brain science and behavior change when coaching their teams – this is how real, lasting change takes place and how people begin to truly unleash their full potential. Not with a traditional ‘let’s set some goals and create a to-do list with milestones’ coaching models.

Get in touch: Elena Agaragimova // Ivan Palomino


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