Summary: Helping People Change by Ellen Van Oosten, Melvin Smith, Richard Boyatzis
Summary: Helping People Change by Ellen Van Oosten, Melvin Smith, Richard Boyatzis

Summary: Helping People Change by Ellen Van Oosten, Melvin Smith, Richard Boyatzis

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Discovering what’s most important

Great coaches inspire, encourage and support others in the pursuit of their dreams and the achievement of their full potential. The authors refer to this as ‘coaching through compassion’. This is different from ‘coaching through compliance’, in which a coach simply exerts to move one using some externally defined objective.

Coaching others to truly achieve sustained and desired change requires a solid foundation of reasonante relationship. A resonant relationship is one characterized by an authentically compassionate connection and a positive emotional tone.


Inspiring sustained and desired change

Coaching with compassion begins by helping a person explore and clearly articulate her ideal self and a personal vision of their future. And rather than creating performance improvement plans in which individuals focus on their shortcomings, compassionate coaches focus on behavior changes that the coaches are excited to try and changes that would help them grow closer to their ideal self.


Questions that spark joy, gratitude and curiosity

Asking someone a positive question awakens their PEA (a state of being open to new ideas and a tipping point along the path of sustained, desired change). Coaching with compassion requires activating the PEA of individuals. Emotions are contagious, both positive and negative. The contagion spreads at fast speeds and is predominantly below conscious awareness.


Dreams, not just goals

A personal vision is a holistic, comprehensive expression of a person’s ideal self and ideal future, including dreams, sense of calling, passion, purpose and core values. A personal vision should be more like a visual dream than specific goals. Above all, a personal vision is highly meaningful to the person (although some aspects of it will change over the course of his or her life).


Listen beyond what you hear

The relationship between a coach and coachee is the heart of any developmental relationship, characterized by an overall positive emotional tone, a shared vision and shared compassion. When striving to coach people, stay focused on the other person, not on the process or the problem. Let the person drive an agenda more than you do.


Pathways to transform the organization

There are three basic approaches to offering coaching services in organization: (1) encourage and train staff to peer coach in pairs of teams (2) train managers executives to provide coaching to their direct reports and may be even peers (3) provide access to internal or external coaches. Peer-coaching bosoms through caring, resonance and shared purpose. They’re durable, sustainable and promote a positive emotional contagion that can become the basis of an organization norm


Seize the opportunity

A coachable moment can be a potentially critical situation or learning opportunity of which the coachee may or may not be fully aware, and the coach correctly perceives that individual is both open and ready for reflection, learning and change. Capitalizing on coachable moments often involves assessing and potentially enhancing the readiness of the individual to be coached. If one is not ready to be coached, the extent of their change is likely to be limited.

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