We use a number of techniques—coaching, mentoring, teaching and so on—deploying them flexibly in each session the better to meet as well as we can what we perceive the client needs.
Many practitioners, for want of a better word, fret endlessly about whether they are coaches or mentors and argue about which approach is the better one for a client.
But this is about making the practitioner more important than the client. It’s about the practitioner’s need to be validated as a Good Coach, or Good Mentor, or Good NLP Practitioner, or whatever, rather than the client’s need for help.
We believe that the client is the more important person. Business clients don’t buy coaching, or mentoring, or NLP—they buy the solution to their problem. Or, better, they buy the help which enables them to solve their problem.
Adults find it hard to learn when they are not in their feelings and we (and many other practitioners) have found that sudden flashes of insight usually do the trick. Whilst it is possible for coaching to create these, it is likely to take (much) longer than by other methods and, crucially, assumes that the client has the mental resources to create this insight. Whilst many coaches stick to a principle that the client does have all the resources they need, we believe this is palpably not true.
Insight can far more easily be facilitated by teaching (for example, models), by mentoring (eg, the practitioner illustrating similar situations from their own experience), by interpretation (explaining what is going on psychodynamically between the people involved with the client) as well as coaching and, no doubt, other techniques.
Coaching is, of course, a valuable technique. We see it as the context of the involvement with the client—it’s always in the background and often rises to the foreground. However, it has to be said that, often, five minutes of teaching does the trick, albeit that it has been carefully prepared with at least one session of coaching/mentoring.
In developing this approach I have been influenced by David Clutterbuck.
> Benefits of the emotional intelligence at work approach
> Coach maturity (David Clutterbuck) [external site]
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2014 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 27 april 2014