In the first instalment of his latest article, Tariq discusses “Non–directive coaching” and in upcoming newsletter editions, he will be comparing it with other coaching models being used in the driver training industry: This is his critical guide for ADIs.
In this article I will seek to illustrate the key components of non-directive coaching and critically compare other coaching approaches such as solutions based, GROW model, scaling, mind-mapping, cognitive-behavioural & NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming.) I have used the term coach and coachee throughout: coach being instructor and coachee being pupil.
Non – directive coaching
This school of coaching emanates from Carl Rogers (1902-1987) who is regarded as the father of the Humanistic Approach. This method allows the client to be fully empowered and to lead the way in forming his or her own conclusions. The coach needs to have very good listening skills and questioning skills to facilitate inner growth. With this method, the coach does not need any form of expert knowledge on the specific issues being coached in order to be successful. The coach simply needs to remain non-judgemental, open minded with effective and active listening skills. The other benefit of Rogerian humanistic coaching is the coachee takes ownership of the entire process by acting on issues and this is usually long lasting. Carl Rogers’ core conditions making this process successful relies upon the coach’s attitude of showing “acceptance” to the coachee and valuing them as a worthy human being.
The coach needs to stay focused when exploring and trying to understand their coachee’s thoughts and feelings.
When the coach is being neutral and remaining professional with the coachee at all times. The coach’s congruence helps the coachee to defeat any negative views which may have been ingrained in the past.
Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR)
This is where the coach is non-judgemental. UPR allows the coachee to open up and speak about their difficulties without the fear of being judged or criticised by their coach.
Non Directive Coaching has several components which act as a catalyst for change. In driver training, I believe as a trainer and coach that everyone has a hidden talent and potential to succeed in achieving their goals. There is much research showing that what we “believe” about the people we coach is a key factor of their performance (Fine A, 2015). This is often called the “Pygmalion effect.” This theory has come about from the research carried out by Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968).
This study reflected that teacher expectations influence student performance: positive expectations influence performance positively and negative expectations influence performance negatively. Therefore, if a coach or instructor has a low sense of self-efficacy and believes that a certain group or race of pupils are slow to learn, then new students might subconsciously accept the same level of low self-efficacy/expectations (McLeod S, 1995) For example, there are some Driving Instructors who tend to generalise when saying “Hardly anyone passes their driving test first time.” An effective coach needs to create a positive mind-set full of possibilities in all their coachees since some coachees may be holding on to a certain level of beliefs, values and perceptions depending on their background.
It is worth highlighting that great coaches need this mind-set themselves, full of possibilities and which goes way beyond the coachee’s often self-limiting beliefs. A coach needs to create a dialogue that will allow the coachee to see options in new possibilities leading to new horizons which perhaps would have not been “thought” possible. A safe environment needs to be created and not just in a physical sense. As a child we learnt to walk, talk and took an element of risk in adventurous pursuits.
This learning took place quickly when the environment was safe and we received positive encouragement from many people including parents. As we go through school, some people may experience bullying not only in a physical sense, but also emotionally. These inner voices or the inner-self, potentially create a climate of fear and prevent us from taking on further life challenges. Once these inner fears are embedded in ourselves, learning or metacognitive skills tend to slow down. A coach who is non-judgmental needs to promote a climate for conversation where the coachee talks freely and openly and where no judgements are passed on the discussions whether they regard it as “good or bad” (Fine A, 2015) Next time,
Tariq discusses solutions focused approaches.