Cognitive Behavioral Coaching
Principles & Approach : Action & Change
Here and Now
Cognitive Behavioral Coaching is solution and action oriented, set in the here and now, and establishes specific goals in the professional and social sphere.
It is a collaborative and educational process, which requires real commitment from both parites, coach and coachee.
After analyzing the individual’s request, the coach will help them design and implement an operational action plan, with specific and clearly defined objectives.
Professional coaching begins with a meeting between the coach and the future coachee. The objective of this meeting is to understand the request and the issues and then to ensure that the future coachee is fully committed to the process.
The proposed approach aims to :
- meet you where you are and where you’re at,
- help you set achievable goals (small step principle) in the context of your focus areas,
- support you in the development of an action plan to achieve and sustain your goals,
- remove the barriers (thoughts or behaviors) that could be an obstacle to your progress,
regularly review and refine your action plan (work is required between sessions to move forward effectively in the coaching process).
The Coaching Format
this numbre is contractually defined but can be increased according to needs
Collaboration and Alliance
between coach and coachee
The cognitive behavioral coaching process cannot be done without real collaboration and is co-constructed during the different stages of the process. The coaching work is a joint effort and real teamwork, with no hierarchy of roles.
The choice of topics covered or tools proposed, the work required between sessions, and even the hypotheses made by the coach is subject to permanent validation by the individual coachee.
However, both parties have well-defined roles :
the coach is responsible for the process, this is their area of expertise; they propose tools (proven methods and techniques) and from the off-set state that the changes will not come from them or from a magicial wand, but rather through real personal work on the part of the coachee.
For their part, the coacheee is responsible for the content, knowing better then anyone what is suitable or not to their situation. It is the coachee that sets their own goals.
Establishing a true alliance at the start of the process will help build a relationship of trust that will be propitious to achieving the desired results.
According to Baron and Morin (2009), the work alliance is the most important success factor, stressing that it is a prerequisite for effective coaching especially in companies where the request usually comes from a third party.
The coach must therefore take care to reassure the coachee, guaranteeing them to be non-judgemental and to be empathic to any difficulties encountered. They must be fully open and listen wholeheartly. They must also question the coachee about their expectations and adapt their relationship according to these (Pichat, 2014).
Cognitively, Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (CBC) aims to make the coachee aware that their dysfunctional thoughts (unrealistic beliefs and automatic thoughts) are at the origin of their emotions and counterproductive behaviors.
The coachee thinks that the situations and events experienced are an objective and irrefutable reality, that everyone could perceive in the same way as them. The idea is therefore to help them realize that part of what they are confronted with is not reality but rather representations of reality that they themselves made and which are at the origin of their “problems” (Pichat, 2014).
Once this awareness has been achieved, the work will consist in setting up new ways of thinking, flexible, more realistic and more adapted, likely to generate more helpful emotional and behavioral reactions and to remove the barriers that hinder the achievement of the objectives set.
On the behavioral level, the CBC will first aim to help the coachee “unlearn” the thought, emotional and behavioral content that they have learned to “automatically” use in response to situations percieved as difficult.
In a second step, they will replace this initial counter-productive learning by a new more adapted learning. It is by testing new ways of thinking and behavior worked on in the session, and by evaluating the effectiveness and the more helpful nature, that the coachee will be able to gradually take ownership of them.