Behavioral changes in coaching

Coaching can be defined as a supporting relationship between a Coach and a Coachee in which the latter has a goal to achieve. In order to do so, the Client needs to go through some positive changes during a self-development journey. Those positive changes may include behavioral, performance, skills, mindset changes and so on.

Behavior is a series of actions. Our behavior is motivated by a desire or a need. In other words, the need or desire that we want to satisfy will drive our behavior.

In coaching, the Client sets some goals to achieve (business or life coaching goals). The Coach encourages the Client to break a goal into sub-goals. Then, the Coachee is encouraged to identify small action steps that need to be undertaken towards each sub-goal. The actions the Client undertakes to achieve the goals are the behaviors of the Client.

During a coaching relationship, the Clients learn and practise to change their behaviors in order to achieve positive changes. A behavior may need to be reinforced or decreased, depending on the coaching goal.

A behavioral change may be facilitated via different ways. One way could be by focusing on the consequences of a reinforcement or decrease of a specific behavior. If a Client wants to increase a behavior, s/he can focus on a positive consequence, or in other words, what they will gain from this behavioral change. On the contrary, if the Client wants to eliminate a behavior, they can focus on negative consequences or what they will gain (positive) if they indeed decrease this behavior.

Another way coaching can trigger a behavioral change is by enabling the Coachee to gain a new perspective and to identify new behavioral paths in order to function more healthily, productively and in alignment with their goal.

Moreover, when Clients focus on their skills, strengths and past accomplishments, they start to promote and increase their self-efficacy and they realize which of their behaviors support them or not in their purpose. Accordingly, they start to shift their behavior in order to match the reality they want to bring in their life.

There are different stages in a change process and different handling is required from a coaching perspective.

  • Pre-contemplation

In this stage, people are not ready to change. They see themselves as they don’t need a change, so they’re not thinking seriously to perform any change.  

  • Contemplation

During this stage, the Client starts to build self-awareness and acknowledge that there may be a problem. In this phase, coaching focuses on what they would like to see different in their life, what choices they have, what changes they are looking for, where they are stuck, etc. Although the awareness is starting to increase, the Client is not yet ready or sure about making a change.

  • Preparation

In this stage, the Client has decided to make a change. The next step in the coaching process is to identify what will be the benefits of this change, clarify outcomes or sub-goals to achieve, gather information on what resources are needed, what strategies to be deployed and also assess their own preparedness, strengths and key skills, but also scan their environment for potential obstacles.

  • Action

In this stage, the Client with the help of the Coach starts building an action plan and a system to monitor progress. By taking the steps, the Client starts to acknowledge that not only they want to make this change happen, but they also have the ability to change their behavior to make this happen.

  • Maintenance

In this stage, the Client works on how to sustain the achievements of their goal. The Coach assists the Client by creating the structure and providing support in practicing the new behavior until it becomes second nature.

  • Relapse

This stage focuses on identifying the suitable strategy to prevent the Client from abandoning the new behavior and returning back to the old one. Thus, the Coach and the Client look for the best approach to build a self-management system to sustain the gain. After that stage, the coaching relationship can be terminated.

In terms of positive changes you want to introduce in your life, in which step you believe you are currently? What do you need in order to move on? What will happen if you succeed? What will happen if you never try?

Book a free 30min session with me in order to discuss your goal and how coaching can support you move forward.

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