Coaching, a new variation of systematically influencing people,
appears to repeat the older wars of consulting vs. counseling vs.
psychotherapy. Why? The laws that govern learning aren't being
reinvented, but poured into new vessels. Techniques such as
modeling, reinforcement, cognitive reconstruction, behavior
rehearsal, and goal setting appear in this new model, as well as in
older ones. Plus, when you consider that current coaching is based
in learning derived from psychological principles, it's easy to
argue that psychological research has a definite place in coaching.
In the following eight-factor model of personal effectiveness, we
look at the eight significant aspects of effectiveness:
- Personal style.
- Family of origin.
- Career development.
A coach should consider all eight factors in order to relate to his
or her client as a whole person.
Skills are what you have learned and what can be transferred.
Organizations often rely on skill assessments as part of the
employee selection process.
Abilities are our natural strengths. Our abilities dictate how we
solve problems and how we learn new things. They generally are the
things we can do without consciously thinking about them.
Interests are what we feel passionate about. Remember, you don't
have to relegate your interests to non-work activities.
There is little question that personality factors influence who we
are and how we feel. Our personality, the filter we use to look at
the world, is influenced by heredity, family, peers, religion, and
culture. There is considerable support for instruments that tap
into our personal style. Unfortunately, these instruments often are
used in isolation, and trainers engage in the faulty thinking that
they tell the whole story.
Family of Origin
Family of origin is a search for generational work patterns and
roles. While coaching clients, family messages about the nature of
work come out loud and clear. Our family gives us our primary
filter for looking at the world of work. It is only as we move into
our 20s and 30s that we can begin to sift through and differentiate
our own perspective from that of our family.
Acting as our guides, values push us from the past and
pull us into the future. Our values dictate what we put
our time and energy into, and what we attach importance to.
Goals, whether short-term or long-term, conscious or unconscious,
yours or someone else's, pull your behavior into the future and
represent what you want to accomplish. Goals help you express how
you put together your values and personal style.
Career development is a multi-dimensional concept. A career is a
series of predictable stages with cycling and recycling of
No one factor is the truth. The eight-factor approach
attempts to capture more of the complexity of what people and
effectiveness really are. Depending on the circumstance of the
individual, some of the factors will play a larger role than
others, while at other times, other factors will move into the
foreground. Complex, yes, but the only danger is in not knowing how
the eight factors influence who we and our clients are!