My Conception of Academic Coaching Practice
Coaching is a personal development method that requires specific training. Even if today this profession is not regulated and your neighbor can call himself a coach from one day to the next.
This is why I founded the French Association of School and Student Coaching which aims to promote, federate and regroup the most qualified professional coaches who have a real previous professional experience with young people and a real legitimacy to accompany them in order to avoid possible abuses and to guarantee the highest level of excellence in the services offered.
Many people who call themselves "coaches", without any training in psychology or coaching, will not be able to offer you quality support and relevant questioning. They will be unable to identify certain possible blockages in order to bring you the necessary help to allow you to move forward and reach your objectives.
They will tend to guide you, advising you or thinking for you, which poses a problem of influence of the first order, whereas it is a question of helping you become aware of your capacities and skills, helping you to act so that you can develop your potential and solve your problems independently.
They may feel helpless in the face of the reality of the helping relationship, the difficulty of conducting an interview and the types of questioning and their effects. They end up reassuring themselves by building up a toolbox, via NLP for example, and sometimes not even realizing that all these tools are not for you, but for them. They put these tools forward in their sales communication, which really amazes the client.
These tools and exercises guide your thinking instead of allowing you to think outside the box, many influence you without even knowing it when others advise you, because it is easier.
I don't see coaching as a tool. The coach must be able to adapt to his client by proposing custom-made exercises, invented on the fly to ensure that they fulfill a function in the reflection that develops and in the specificity of the situation. Of course, with time, I reuse small exercises already constructed before that I adapt on the spot, but always with the concern of sticking to the interest of the moment to make my client progress.
It is a job that requires a lot of human qualities that it is not enough to simulate with an artificially calm and soothing tone to put in confidence his client, because, in this position of subject supposed to know and influence, it is easy to fool him, especially a student and especially when he does not know what should be a quality coaching.
To be a coach and to offer coaching ABSOLUTELY requires to have followed a serious coaching training, because all the trainings are unfortunately not equal! I invite the future coaches who will read these lines not to sink in the facility by choosing a fast and easy training and by underestimating the importance of a work on oneself and a complementary training in psychology. To know how to choose a professional School and Student Coach please refer to my specific article.
Coaching can have many applications, I consider that they should ideally depend on the training and experience of the coach. But this question of the coach's profile which should correspond to the types of coaching proposed is a question which is far too complex to be explored in depth in this article.
I take the opportunity to quote an extract from Wikipedia, the text may have changed since then: (you can access the page on coaching in wikipedia via my internal links page)
"By abuse of language, the word coaching is also used in situations of consulting or training. This is not coaching as such.
It is essential to know what type of coach you are dealing with. The first two sometimes seem more "reassuring" at the beginning for the coachee (transfer of knowledge or know-how from the consultant or trainer). However, the benefits are often greater when the coaching is totally centered on the coachee and his resources because the changes will really come from him.
The coaching I offer is totally centered on the person, "pure" coaching in a way, I do not advise you and I ask you questions to help you find your own solutions to reach your goal.
The accompaniments that I offer and that I call "accompaniment" are not "pure" coachings unless you ask for it and I remain in a posture of coach but I am also in a posture of adviser or trainer. A quick example: for the preparation of an oral, thanks to my experience, I can advise you on an exercise, to suggest you to test a method or a tool, which I think will help you.
These coaching sessions aim to give you the basics and the tools to move forward, while looking with you for what will suit you best and what will allow you to be more at ease and efficient, aiming of course at your autonomy. Therefore, depending on the problem, I will "suggest" certain "know-how" or methods, and perhaps sometimes advise you to implement certain techniques, if concrete elements allow me to think that this will allow you to be more efficient and to reach an objective or sub-objective.
My role is more like that of a trainer or advisor than a coach, even if we remain within the framework of coaching, since it is, in my opinion, essential for your autonomy to remain in a dynamic of helping you to find your solutions.
Orientation is at the center of my concerns.
Initially, a successful study at school or university requires a well-considered choice of direction, good personal organization and clear motivation. An orientation coaching will allow you to make choices that are not only guided by a particular aptitude in this or that subject. It is this choice of orientation and the awareness of the importance, quality and nature of the work to be done to reach one's objectives that will motivate the student to surpass himself with desire and pleasure, and to have fun in a job that he has chosen.
For years I have noticed the lack of preparation of students for their public speakings.
Preparing for an oral cannot be invented! Here again, the coaching for the preparation of an oral is a tailor-made coaching and it is according to the inventory that we will make together, aiming at evaluating your aptitudes to make a presentation on various criteria, that we will be able to evaluate the points on which to work in priority. Many methods already exist and it is also necessary to think beforehand about the support and to put yourself in a situation. Several steps are necessary to continue to progress and reach a certain level of mastery of this exercise. As you can see, in what I call coaching, it is not a matter of looking for and applying your own solutions, but rather of starting from existing and well-known solutions, as in my example, and personalizing them by aiming for comfort and pleasure. To illustrate my point, some people feel better with a support in the form of key words and others with ready-made sentences, which does not necessarily imply that this allows them to be more at ease and to make better presentations, nor that their support is optimally prepared. Others will have already prepared the material that suits them and it is in the area of public speaking and concentration that they may need to work.
The biggest shortcoming of the French educational system, both in the public and private sectors:
During their studies, students are not trained to prepare for their school admission or job interviews.
At the end of their studies, they must also know how to prepare for the final objective and land the job that motivated them to get there.
Even if many courses of study now include internships in companies, it is striking to note how many young graduates, having chosen an orientation and succeeded in their studies, are disarmed when it comes to approaching the world of work and presenting themselves with a good perception of the image they give, of their skills and their know-how.
Here again, the coach will be able to intervene and accompany the student by allowing him/her to better know him/herself and to become aware of his/her skills, in order to better promote and present him/herself.
Because today, when recruiting, it is no longer the quality of the training that is really preponderant, but the personality of the candidate. You have to be able to talk about yourself, sincerely and intelligently.
I accompany you on all these issues, striving to adapt, case by case, to the personalities and the stakes, I take into account, by my multidisciplinary training, the situation of each pupil and student in its globality.
You will find on the page "coachings" the complete details of the various coachings proposed.