A Powerful Map for Effective Coaching – The E-Scale Process

Effective Coaching

What is your definition of effective coaching?

Many coaches I have spoken to or read about have defined effective coaching by using words such as support, challenge, develop, change, facilitate, collaborate, inspire etc. Despite these overlaps in how coaches describe what they are aiming to do, there are a multitude of approaches, frameworks, techniques and ethical viewpoints that promise to make you an effective coach.

There are many coaching maps for navigating the journey of change.

This variety is likely the consequence of the coaching profession’s rapid expansion over the past 15-20 years. It is also, I believe, one of the strengths of the industry. A “wide stream” of perspectives and approaches keeps coaching relevant and responsive to the ever-shifting landscape of human development. At the same time this vast variety makes it difficult to choose the “best practice” coaching map of for you and for your clients.

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So, what criteria would you use to evaluate the effectiveness of a coaching approach/technique?

I’ve been thinking about this and propose the following brief criteria. You may want to add others, but I believe an effective coaching map or framework will:

  • Adapt to the personal styles and needs of diverse individuals and client groups
  • Build on well-researched coaching strategies and psychological theory
  • Give coaches clear and simple coaching guidelines for effective practice
  • Provide a dynamic model of human development for stimulating deeper levels of change
  • Leave space for the coach’s personal style, training and previous experience to be integrated into the proposed framework

To satisfy the above criteria (and there are other criteria of course) most coaches have been rather eclectic. We have drawn from a variety of models and techniques such as solution-focused techniques, NLP, cognitive behavioural strategies and many others to create a comprehensive and effective coaching “toolbox”. We have combined these techniques with various forms of assessment to give us a quicker “handle” on our clients’ key strengths and areas of development. We have tried our best to develop an integrated and effective coaching map through experimentation and years of experience and learning.

Where are you in your development as an effective coach?

Have you established an integrated map of techniques, strategies and theory that accommodates your own natural style, values and being? Are you a coach looking for something else to shift you into a new level of effectiveness and enjoyment of your work?

In either case please read on. I’d like to share my experience with you of a powerful and effective coaching map that I believe meets the above criteria, and can add value to both experienced/established coaches and coaches in search of an integrating coaching framework.

Confessions of a Coach

Ok, so this is not really a confession. I just liked the heading. What I really want to share with you is my experience of using the E-Scale profiling and coaching technology.

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Firstly, some context.

I am a coach, like you. However, I originally trained as a clinical psychologist and therapist where I was exposed to a number of theories and understandings of how and why individuals experience psychological and emotional difficulties, and how change can be encouraged.  I have been trained in a number of ‘therapeutic models’ such as transactional analysis, cognitive behaviour therapy, systemic family therapy, psychodynamic approaches, and solution-focused therapy. These models have greatly informed my development as a coach, but also the development of the coaching profession. Although as coaches we are less focused on “psychopathology and dysfunction” and more focused enhancing functioning and performance, we build on the theories and principles of ‘traditional’ psychology.

With a growing interest in more “positively oriented”, “strengths-based” and “non-pathologising” approaches to psychology I was gradually led to the field of coaching and ultimately coaching in the workplace or executive coaching. To cut an already too long story short, I was always in search of a system and an approach to coaching that would accommodate my existing training and experience, while providing a straightforward yet ‘deep’ framework for the variety of individuals I encountered in the workplace context.

My search was rewarded when I discovered the E-Scale technology:

The E-Scale system moves beyond traditional profiling and sets a targeted and meaningful development process in motion. Most profiling tools do nothing more than attempt to describe personality traits and preferences. The E-Scale takes you far deeper through a systematic process for developing emotional intelligence that reveals how and why we develop our personality preferences , our patterns of thinking and feeling, as well as our habits of response.” (see Free EQ Profile on www.emotionalintelligence.tv)

Powerful, Effective Coaching with the E-Scale

The “how and why” in the last sentence of the quote above is what I found particularly significant about the E-Scale profiling and coaching system. What I discovered was that, as a coach, I was guided by the E-Scale to systematically investigate – in collaboration with my client – what the motivations and emotional drivers were for behavioural patterns that the client and E-Scale report had identified as potentially self-defeating.  At the same time, the E-Scale grounds the client’s strengths in the same set of motivations and emotional drivers that underpin their areas of development, which powerfully reveals how our strengths and areas of development are so intimately connected.

This is a truly incisive and unique take on the development of emotional intelligence!

For example, the E-Scale revealed to one of my clients that her visionary leadership style, which habitually focused her attention on future possibilities and positive outcomes, was at times resulting in a tendency to avoid the current problems and emotional conflicts in her team. She realised – by reading the E-Scale report and with careful questioning from me -that what motivated this future possibility focus was a fear of getting stuck in emotionally uncomfortable conversations and confining commitments. The E-Scale coaching materials (see accreditation manual below) also helped me and the client understand this fear in the context of the client’s unexamined worldview. The E-Scale revealed the client’s core limiting beliefs, how she maintained these beliefs and how she could grow beyond their limitations.

A key development task for her was to embrace her visionary planning strengths while confronting some conflict situations in her team. By staying more in the present, rather escaping into future plans, the client could ensure that her visions became a reality.

Find out how you can receive a Free E-Scale Feedback and Coaching Session

I remember thinking that, without the E-Scale’s key insight about this client’s driving fear, we would’ve skirted around these real issues for hours, since talking about fear and deeper emotions was part of the avoidance pattern that was creating problems for her. The E-Scale Leadership report spoke directly and deeply into the client’s worldview and allowed me to structure questions and responses guided by the report results and her feedback.

What I really liked was how the E-Scale report allowed me to integrate my existing skills in interviewing and facilitating coaching conversations with a powerful assessment tool that quickly cut through to what was really important.

The E-Scale also builds on a model of human development and personality (i.e. Enneagram) that, in describing both observable behaviour patterns and deeper psychological dynamics, leaves scope for a range of psychological theories and coaching techniques for facilitating change.

So how exactly does the E-Scale coaching map empower you as a coach? What are the resources and “tools” that allow you to bring the best of your existing coaching experience and skills to a systematic process of developing your clients’ emotional intelligence?

Getting to the Core of Effective Coaching – E-Scale Reports

The E-Scale reports, from the outset, create a solid foundation for the coaching conversation. Often coaching can take a long time to get the client’s core issues and patterns. The reports are not intended as the final word on the client’s development, but they do immediately focus the client and the coaching conversation on ‘trigger’ themes, drivers and behaviours that the client can be encouraged to reflect on. But report results in themselves are not the coaching process. The E-Scale system therefore provides a comprehensive manual with a detailed map for ‘debriefing’ or processing the report content. This shifts assessment results immediately towards a change and development process.

Navigating the Effective Coaching Landscape – The E-Scale Accreditation Programme Manual

The E-Scale accreditation manual is a comprehensive 160 page document with content ranging from the E-Scale’s theoretical background, case studies and research reports, to in-depth descriptions of the 9 behavioural styles identified by the E-Scale, and bespoke guidelines for effective report debriefing and coaching for each of the 9 styles.

Particularly useful in the manual is the section on “Navigating the E-Scale Debriefing Session”. As the heading implies, coaches are provided with a detailed framework for navigating the report debrief/feedback session in a way that seamlessly shifts assessment results into a coaching conversation. Below is a copy of the “Navigating the Debrief Process” diagram that outlines the debriefing process, which is described in more detail by the rest of the manual:

A simple but powerful coaching technique that shifts the E-Scale report results into a dynamic coaching conversation is what the manual describes as “exploring specific behavioural examples”. The aim here is to ask the client to identify prominent themes/patterns from their E-Scale report and to describe, in detail, an example of when this theme/pattern emerged. With step-by-step guidance from the manual the coach helps the client bring to awareness the real motivations, emotional drivers and consequences of their behaviour as reflected by the report. The manual provides specific ‘questions sets’ that help you and the client explore the patterns in terms of context, thoughts, feelings, actions/non-actions, outcomes, and thoughts/feelings after the event.

This in-depth exploration of the behavioural example often results in “aha moments” – the moments that we as coaches work so hard to facilitate. Clients’ eyes are opened to what was previously habitual and unconscious. This opens up the possibility of conscious choice and change.

The E-scale reports and manual then go on to provide a number of developmental exercises and suggestions for growth specific to the client’s personality/behavioural style. Furthermore, the E-Scale Coaching Report gives the coach a range of suggestions for coaching and development specifically tailored to the client’s profile.

The E-Scale reports, accreditation manual and the client’s immediate engagement in the report debriefing, combined with your existing coaching skills, experience and knowledge, makes for a powerful and effective coaching map and a journey of deep change.

I hope this has given you a feel for what the E-Scale map can make possible in your coaching. To experience this powerful map for effective coaching why not sign up for the free profile and coaching session if you have not done so already?

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