Preparedness for Coaching (2): BSC Research
5 minute read
In this second blog, we will set the scene and present additional key findings and conclusions, then bring together the overall key messages of the research.
Setting the scene
BSC wanted to understand what differences the Covid-19 pandemic had made to the ways coaches were preparing themselves for their coaching sessions since the Covid-19 restrictions were implemented their reasons for changing or not changing their approach.
We sent a questionnaire to our active ILM learners assuring them that their responses would be treated in the strictest confidentiality. We offered learners the opportunity to have their name published as having contributed to the project if they wished and gave us permission to do so. The names of those who did give permission are added to this blog.
We asked the learners whether they had or had not made any changes to the way in which they prepared themselves for coaching practice, then asked learners to indicate their reasons for making changes or for not making changes.
The responses to this survey were presented to the BSC coaching network on 20 March 2021. We are publishing these two blogs with the findings and key messages from the survey. We will be using the findings to contribute to our coaching programmes.
We found that the great majority of learners are preparing themselves for coaching differently in the Covid-19 environment. The changes learners were making come under two headings – ‘coaching readiness’ (just under half the changes) and ‘well-being/fitness to practice’ (just over half the changes reported). The ‘wellbeing’ techniques are specific to coaches preparing to coach.
- Why did learners make changes to one or more techniques/strategies?
As with the changes coaches made, reasons related to wellbeing were reported most frequently (two-thirds of responses). This included:
- To reduce anxiety, stress (nearly half of learners)
- To improve mental, physical and emotional resilience (two-thirds of learners)
- To improve mood (half of learners)
- To improve immunity (a quarter of learners)
‘Self-reflection’ was reported as a reason for changing their approach to preparing themselves for coaching practice by one quarter of learners. Feedback from others also figured prominently amongst the reasons given, including:
- Feedback from supervisors (1 in 10 learners);
- Feedback from BSC personal tutor (just fewer than 1 in 10 learners)
- Feedback from clients (jus fewer than 1 in 10 learners).
Learning and development were reasons given for making changes by a small proportion of learners. Interestingly, one learner was also concerned to prepare themself for dealing with clients’ stress.
- Why did learners not make changes to one or more techniques/strategies?
Once again, reasons related to wellbeing were most frequently cited for not making changes (two thirds of responses), including just under a quarter of learners who reported that:
- Their mood was good
- Their anxiety level was acceptable to them
- Their stress level was acceptable to them
- Their physical/mental/emotional health and immune system were acceptable to them
A quarter of learners stated that they had not changed their preparation as a result of their self-reflection. Feedback from others (clients, supervisor, BSC personal tutor) accounted for about 1 in 10mmof the reasons given. For a few learners, they had not been coaching prior to the pandemic so were not in a position to have needed to do anything differently.
Why did learners make or not make changes to their approaches to preparing themselves for coaching? Key messages
Learners were clearly making appropriate use of self-reflection in practice. This shows that reflection is being used positively and as a foundation for making relevant changes to their strategies for developing and enhancing their coaching practice and their clients’ experience as coachees.
Learners report the importance of connectedness – of acting on feedback from supervisors, personal tutors and clients.
Wellbeing factors were highly significant in the learners preparing themselves for coaching – whether these were reasons for making changes (to improve their wellbeing); or for not making changes (standards of wellbeing were acceptable to them).
Key messages from this research – overview.
Bringing together the key messages from both blogs (whether or not the learners were making changes; and reasons they gave for their decisions), we found that:
- Learners were making changes to the ways in which they prepared themselves for coaching practice in the current Covid-19 environment.
- Learners were using both wellbeing techniques and coaching readiness approaches to prepare for coaching in the current Covid-19 environment.
- In particular, learners had identified a need to practise the use of technology which will develop their skills and lead to increased professionalism and confidence. This indicates a high level of awareness of their need to develop their own skills to meet the needs of clients in a changing environment.
- It is clear that learners are using wellbeing techniques to enhance themselves as a personal resource for their coaching. These techniques will build their resilience and provide a service to their clients which is not impacted negatively by being coached in the Covid-19 environment.
- Managing emotions and thoughts was a key factor for the learners – this indicates that they were focussed on managing their own head space to facilitate and enable their work with others, without distraction and able to be fully present in the moment.
- Learners were clearly making appropriate use of self- reflection in practice. This shows that reflection is being used positively and as a foundation for making relevant changes to their strategies for developing and enhancing their coaching practice and their clients’ experience as coaches.
- Learners reported the importance of connectedness – seeking support from others, of acting on feedback from other, using coaching supervision. BSC is proud of the support our coaching community provides for its members and which it continues to provide.
- The pandemic seems to have nudged many of us to focus on the attributes and actions which have the potential to be life enriching in all aspects of our lives but which has particular resonance for coaching – how we coach is who we are. The wellbeing data illustrated above show that we, as coaches, are the service which we offer to clients, and that learners are open to making the changes which the current pandemic requires at present.
 Wellbeing in this context related to: reducing anxiety and stress, improving mood and immune system, improving mental, physical and emotional resilience,
 Support from others included feedback from supervisors, personal tutors and clients.