In an early post I suggested that the popularity of coaching might be attributable to the fact that coaching models all seem to have positive, sexy-sounding acronyms.
I have just come across another model with a cringingly appropriate name. Based on the popular GROW model, Saul Brown and Anthony Grant from Australia have come up with a coaching model for working with teams called…GROUP.
GROUP stands for:
- Understanding others
I can’t really tell you much more about it because my Athens account doesn’t give me access to Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, so I can’t read the whole paper. Although, I did notice in the abstract they refer to ‘Scharma’s U process’, by which I assume they mean Theory U developed by Otto Scharmer. I mentioned this in my article on levels of listening. They also allude to ‘double-loop learning’. This is one aspect of transformational learning which was an inspiration for the Zones model.
I think Seasonal Affective Disorder has set in because I had a bit of a grumpy week last week. As a result, I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of positive, chirpy model acronyms and want to invent a few that reflect the sometimes disappointing reality of coaching and guidance.
Here are a few models that I have come up with which try to reflect the dark side of guidance practice. At various times I think I have followed all of these models.
- Forget to establish a clear contract with the client and neglect to negotiate over realistic expectations
- Ask a torrent of information gathering questions without explaining their purpose (possibly without even knowing their purpose)
- Incubate an expectation in the client that giving you all this information will enable you to provide a magic solution
- Lose respect when you don’t come up with this brilliant idea
- Gut feeling — Have a sense that there is something deeper going on in the client than the issue they present with
- Unwillingness — Feel uncomfortable about ‘opening that can of worms’ in case it’s something beyond your capacity to deal with
- Latching on — Focus on the simple thing that you think you can deal with (such as checking their CV or giving them information they could easily find themselves)
- Failing — Not dealing with the real obstacle that will have a long term impact on their chances of success (giving them a sticking plaster for a scratch but ignoring the broken leg)
- Perceiving only the issues you are geared up to notice
- Using the same models or processes irrespective of the client’s needs
- Squeezing the uniqueness out of a client’s situation in favour of a one-size-fits-all solution
- Heeding only the successes and passing off the failures as being the result of unwilling or obstructive clients
I would welcome any other suggestions for grumpy model acronyms.