In the UEA coaching scheme, the person being coached learns something about her or himself, supported by questions from the coach who listens actively and intensively and helps the coachee to think through the issues and identify action they wish to take. It is not about receiving advice, guidance and information - it is much more about enabling the coachee to reflect and learn by working with the support of the coach. It is led by the coachee. The role of the coach is to be supportive and non-judgmental.
How are people allocated a coach?
Any member of UEA staff can apply to be allocated a coach by completing a request form. The service is free of charge and is offered during normal working hours (so if you need your manager's approval you must secure this first). The network of internal staff coaches is coordinated by the Senior Staff Development Officer responsible for Personal & Professional Development, who matches coaches with requests for coaching.
Coaching sessions may typically take around 30 – 60 minutes, and sessions will normally be spaced 2-4 weeks apart or possibly longer, depending on the needs of the individual. The number of coaching sessions will not exceed six and may be fewer.
It is good practice for both parties to discuss and agree at the outset how the coaching will work. An initial meeting will be arranged where the coach will talk through the coaching process. The individual will be asked to give a brief overview of themselves, including relevant background information and their reasons for applying for coaching. The coach will also introduce themselves and provide some background information about themselves, including their involvement in coaching.
The coaching ‘contract’
At this initial meeting, the coaching ‘contract' will also be agreed. This involves establishing ground rules for the relationship. Any important practical details will be agreed including the process for contact between sessions, ensuring an appropriate venue for the coaching, timing of sessions, any records to be used, confidentiality, procedure if a need arises to cancel or rearrange any sessions, and so on. Expectations, roles, behaviours and boundaries will be clarified and the overall objectives for the coaching will be agreed.