Smart Driving Member Tariq I Musaji continues… In his penultimate instalment, Tariq looks at criticisms of a Non-Directive approach in relation to other coaching styles: I am in favour of the Non-Directive approach in coaching and it is one of the coaching styles I tend to utilise widely in driver training. However, it does tend to have its drawbacks: There is no set time to arrive at a workable solution. In other words, the whole coaching structure lacks a formal coherent plan.
The coach’s responsibility extends to managing the process so that the coachee achieves progress (Hartley A, 2010). In comparison to the Solutions Focused approach (SF), this method does not require an in depth analysis. On the contrary, SF approach specifies to do more that works. Organisations have now gone away from management techniques known in the 1990’s as Business process re-engineering or BPR. These techniques caused a lot of upheaval and were expensive. Organisations are now relying on coaching methods instead in times of increased global competitiveness. Managers with coaching skills are now regarded as an asset to the organisation. The coach needs to ask suitably effective questions using techniques such as the Socratic form of questioning. The probing approach using the 5 HW’s (What?, Where?, When?, Why? & How?) is intended to expose contradictions. Non-Directive approach relies on empathic responses. Such questions help, solve deep important problems, slow down, reflect more (Gladis S, 2015).
Socratic questioning helps the coachee to raise self-awareness. Questions beginning with “Why?” could cause resentment by the coachee and make them become defensive, thus affecting their emotions. “Why?” could also stray the coachee off track from generating a viable solution(s). As a coach I would refrain from using questions starting with “Why?”. The Non-Directive approach offers a dangling carrot instead of a beating stick. The coachee may figure out what the coach wants to hear, illustrative of a text book answer.
Also there is no guarantee to predict future behaviour because the coachee may not be responding with facts. By contrast with the Cognitive Behavioural Coaching approach (CBC), the other models which I have discussed help the coachee to become their own coach. This was discussed last time so I will not mention again. The tools are useful in acting as an enabler, facilitator for the coachee to move forward and also cut down on costs, especially if the driving lessons are being paid by the coachee. The coach needs to refrain from giving the solution to the coachee. When the individual is given the chance to be creative and resourceful, he/she will be able to find their own path (Murkin S, 2010). The coach needs to learn to not give advice, or if they give it, they need to be very unattached to their own ideas and present them as options instead of diktats (Hosmer H, 2015). Lack of intrinsic motivation from the client in pursuance of workable solutions may result from the coachee simply preferring a directive approach. Motivation originates from Latin meaning to “move” and is an internal state of a person. There is no quick magic wand that brings it into being (Souler A, 2011).
There is no set model to use in such situations when seeking to discover the root cause of the coachee’s problem(s). The coach needs to have a range of coaching tools and models available to use appropriately as the coaching process progresses – in other words, a bespoke style of coaching suited to the coachee’s needs. The coach needs to build a good rapport with the coachee if the lessons are going to be effective. In extreme circumstances rapport building might be 99% of the coaching relationship (Shore J, 2014). The coach needs effective listening skills which should be achievable at different levels of semantic communications. Coaches are easy to relate to, that is if the coach has the correct set of core skills and qualities: they have an ability to listen that goes beyond the average and is called deep or active listening (Flanagan, J 2016). Pavlovian conditioning results in the coachee’s early exposure to life’s challenges and behaviours. NLP provides a good grounding to deal with the mind and how the individual rises to the challenge, especially if one has been subject to negative conditioning.
NLP as compared to a Non-Directive approach is much more in-depth and there are tools to help the coachee to find new solutions. Compared to the Non-Directive approach, NLP deals with emotions, attitudes and beliefs and provides strategies to re-programme the mind. A person’s mind can be re-programmed to alter their pattern of behaviour if they are totally focused and intrinsically motivated. Indeed I have trained quite a few pupils in their mid-fifties who believed that driving an automatic was their only solution to drive on the public roads. In my Non-Directive approach, I use the famous GROW model developed by the late Sir John Whitmore, Graham Alexander and Alan Fine. The GROW model grew out of best practice and not theory (Downey M, 2014).
The GROW Model stands for:
- Goals – what does the coachee want to achieve?
- Reality – where is the coachee now, what’s stopping him/her from achievement?
- Options – has the coachee explored what is available or what alternatives are available?
- Wrap Up/Way forward – what will the coachee do until the next session?
Scaling fits nicely with the GROW Model. I use the scaling tool for virtually every aspect of skill development. My scaling works from 1 to 10: 1 is where the pupil needs all the help and is deficient in skills development and 10 is when the pupil is up to DVSA standard and their skill is demonstrated with no element of risk involved to him/herself and other road users. Scaling puts
A skilled coach should resist the temptation of owning the scale. This has to come from the client. By skilful questioning, I have got my pupils to raise the bar and got them to improve their driving performance. It is a target for the pupil to achieve within a realistic timescale, hence the essence of the GROW Model. With the GROW Model, the coachee goes away with achievable targets to work with in contrast to the Non-Directive approach where the session could just end with a dialogue between the coach and the coachee.
Next month, Tariq concludes his article by reflecting on his own coaching style including further development on techniques and provides references for quotes used throughout.