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Whether driving organisational change, seeking an improvement in business performance or aligning people around a strategy, it is often very powerful to work with individuals in a coaching relationship.  Effective coaching combines approaches from a number of domains, and an effective coach needs multiple skill sets.

The first important skill in coaching is being able to provide ways of getting honest feedback about current performance, current behaviours and their impact on others.  Most of us donít have a good understanding of how we are perceived by peers, managers, subordinates and customers.  The further up the organisational tree one goes, the harder it is to get honest feedback.  A good coach can be the conduit to getting this information.  It provides a starting point from which we can move forward.

The context for coaching is business issues and business performance.  The skills of a consultant come to the fore here, where the effective coach is able to draw on a wide range of frameworks and methods of analysis to work from the data to understanding to solution.  These frameworks will come from personal experience and from having helped other businesses to solve similar issues.

From a psychological perspective, we use a number of approaches that have come out of the positive psychology movement.  The positive psychology movement has applied what has been learned about human behaviour not to people who are dysfunctional but to people who are already living productive lives to help them be more effective.  Two tools that are particularly useful are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (which in simple terms says that the often unconscious mental frameworks that we apply to problems affect the way that we perceive and respond to issues) and Solution Focused Thinking (which gets people to focus on what is working and then try to do more of that).

The overall context for the coaching relationship, like all the work that we do at PS2, is that we work with people.  We donít have all the answers, but as coaches we can work successfully with others to find effective solutions together.