Smart Driving Member Tariq I Musaji continues…. In the 3rd instalment of his latest article, Tariq discusses Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) approaches in driver training. This is his critical guide for ADIs.
Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC)
Cognitive Behavioural Coaching derives from the two leading cognitive behavioural theorists, researchers and therapists, Aaron Beck (1976) and Albert Ellis (1962) (Passmore, J 2016) CBC shares much with Solution focussed approach (Sf) which was discussed last time, in the sense that it is a non-directive form of coaching and encourages the individual to devise their own conclusions and strategies. It is time constrained, works on the present scenario and does not dwell on the past. According to Gladeana McMahon, “CBC aims to help people achieve goals, devise action plans, improve performance” (McMahon G, 2007)
However where it differs from the non-directive approach and Sf is that CBC offers a twin track to psychological achievement: the other being practical. The psychological track helps to eliminate self-doubt or the inner voice, procrastination, indecisiveness and self-efficacy. The coach’s aim is to arm the coachee with all the skills necessary to become their own coach: the coachee then self coaches by becoming more aware of their own thinking style, their strengths and limitations and finding alternative ways of behaving which lead to successful outcomes for their own behaviour in challenging times. The practical side of goal achievement can be supplemented with “SMART” objectives, which I have discussed previously under Sf approach.
Other relevant models can be utilised such as ABCDE model:
- A = Activating agent
- B= Self-limiting/defeating beliefs
- C= Consequences
- D= Disputing or examining these self-defeating beliefs
- E= Effective, new outlook
Source: Neenan M (2016)
This model serves to identify the self-defeating thoughts which are based on the core beliefs we hold about ourselves. The aim of this model is for the coachee to reach “self-actualization” although this can take a number of coaching sessions. This depends on the coachee and who is sponsoring the session and any KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) of the organisation which acts as a measurement for change. Feedback can be sought from the coachee on a regular basis as to how the session went, what change(s) the coachee will implement or the action to be taken before the next session. The skilful coach using the above model through Socratic questioning (to increase self-awareness) can determine which part of the model is working well and those parts of the model needing more work.
It would be helpful from the coach’s perspective if the learning style is identified early and the coach is continually aware of the coachee’s mood and emotions. Socratic questioning challenges the emphatic responses which are often associated with the nondirective approach. This is not to say that emphatic responses are of no significance in CBC, however they aren’t emphasised as much as the person-centred approach (Williams H, et al 2014). The dual concept of psychological and practical in CBC enables the coach and coachee to assess what needs to be addressed: the external, practical or goal-oriented behavioural aspects and if a simple problem solving model will suffice (Williams et al, 2016). Therefore, CBC is a change agent or psycho-educative in the sense that change occurs much quicker than the psychodynamic approaches, ultimately leading the coachee to become their own self-coach. This is in stark contrast to person-centered approaches where change may not occur spontaneously and there is no agreed time limit between the coach and coachee.
Neuro-Linguistic programming (NLP)
The final coaching model I’m looking at is NLP. Developed in the 1970’s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the concept of NLP embodies the five senses, body language and the individual’s pattern of behaviour. There are various models and concepts in NLP but I am going to explore building rapport and anchoring. Building rapport runs parallel to all coaching themes which I have discussed above. Building rapport is crucial if we’re to understand each coachee’s map of “their” world. This can be combined with finding the coachee’s preferred learning style(s) using the VARK model/Honey & Mumford tables. Once this has been established, the concept of what the coachee is seeking to achieve can be determined by “pacing” and “leading”. Pacing in the words of Bob Thomson is, “if a client uses abstract words, talks mainly about the future, then the coach who feeds back in a similar fashion is pacing the client’s way of thinking” (Thomson B, 2013). Leading from the coach is providing the coachee more choices from the undesirable state to desirable outcomes. This can be summed up in a simple equation:
Present state + Resources = Desired state (McDermott I, 2016)
A resource does not have to be tangible, it could also be interpreted as change in attitudes, acquiring a new set of skills, a finding of new purpose or your internal barometer of what is actually going on (McDermott, 2016)
Anchoring – the “feel-good” factor to achieving the desired state can be related to anchoring. Anchoring is using triggers which make us feel good. It could be imagery, the environment, a certain song which makes us feel good for a while. An anchor is simply a stimulus that generates a physiological response (Thomson B (2013) p92. However, there are also anchors which can make us feel bad, having experienced an unhappy event or an event related to our early childhood. Anchoring is a useful tool in that it enables the coachee to use the positive anchors to be more resourceful, which according to the equation cited above leads to the desired state. In the words of Mo Shapiro “we all have internal resources in the unconscious mind somewhere” (Shapiro M, 2007)
In contrast to the non-directive approach, NLP offers a scientific approach to change the unconscious mind from negativities, partly due to the language that coachees use on a daily basis. This could be from early childhood where they have lacked positive leadership from the parent(s) or some event which has triggered a negative anchor. It is these anchors which could be partly re- sponsible for the “state” they are in. NLP is much more precise and effective in helping the coachee because there are other models such as Milton and Meta which can be used to support it. This is outside the confines of this article as it involves a much deeper analysis. For a coach to be effective in using NLP, one needs to be trained thoroughly in all aspects. There are so many courses available on-line that within three or four days, one can become a certified NLP practitioner!
Next time in his penultimate instalment, Tariq looks at criticisms of non-directive approach in relation to other coaching styles