Confucius said, “Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.” Yes. I absolutely agree. Learning and reflection must work together. It is always important to reflect whatever learning we undertake. On the other hand, learning must exist at all times for us to have something to reflect. Reflection allows us to think deeply and rationally and it arouses our senses to response, act, and perform actions for the betterment of ourselves.
Recently, I was lucky to attend a special course on Coaching Program conducted by National Teacher College in collaboration with National Educators Academy of the Philippines.
Reflecting and internalizing the importance of coaching will definitely help me a long way in my career or functions in our school. Vast knowledge about coaching environment must be considered. This will help me carry out and attain my desired outcome. Take note, we cannot give what we do not have. Moreover, we need to walk the talk.
An ideal coaching environment is conducive, fair, safe and accommodating. The clients must be comfortable and secured. There should be no communication barriers or gaps between the involved persons. Building trust and creating harmonious relationships are essential ingredients for a smooth flow of communication. Coaching requires partnership. Hence, mutual understanding is a necessity.
Coaching environment is also an avenue for freedom especially to the clients. They need to be free in expressing their ideas, opinions, thoughts, and feelings. Remember they are naturally intelligent. Thus, they should not be underestimated, humiliated, ridiculed, and scolded. Coaching must bring out the best in them and provide them greater opportunities.
It is also important that coaches instill in the minds of the clients that making mistakes and failures is not only expected but also necessary. There is always a room for improvements. These are useful if they will be used as a mirror or springboard to strive harder and improve their weaknesses. Moreover, they must always take coaching positively. They should not be afraid of failing or committing mistakes. No one is perfect and we can always improve ourselves. All we need to do is to keep on practicing. Keep in mind that, “constant and correct practice makes perfect.”
The success of coaching also lies in the collaboration of the coaches and external stakeholders particularly in the school system. It is advisable that coaches seek support and coordinate with professional coaches from private and other government agencies. Helen Killer said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
The following three Cs will summarize my reflection.
First is choice. Clients must be given a choice on what time he is convenient to be coached. Of course, it is also his choice to identify the issues or topics he wants to be discussed or elaborated. Moreover, he is entitled to identify solutions and select the best option which he thinks the most important and feasible to do.
The second C is chance. Every coach and client has opportunities to be great and successful. There are several coaching practices, theories techniques, principles, and considerations which can help the coaches to achieve their victory. Attending trainings, seminars and Learning Action Cells is one of the effective approaches on becoming an expert and efficient coach. Using coaching toolbox which includes checklist, planner, and interaction log is also helpful. In the case of the clients, awesome opportunities await them with the assistance of their coaches and manifestation of their determination, patience and eagerness.
Change is the last C. This is very useful to the coach and client. If the coach failed, he just needs to change his style and use other techniques which are more suitable. On the other hand, the client is capable of changing. It is the responsibility of the coach to guide and motivate him to transform and be better. The coach must always consider the art of listening. Listening is one of the most indispensable elements to influence and empower the clients.
Coaching must be enhanced. It may bring positive choice, chance and change to everyone. This is essential to a more happy and successful life.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our energetic and well-trained mentors, ma’am Angela Salem and sir Zoilo Reyes. They are the special instruments of my new learning and reflection. American author and speaker Mandy Hale said, “People are sent into our lives to teach us things that we need to learn about ourselves.” To you ma’am and sir, thank you very much and may you always find strength and passion to be blessings to everyone. (JENELYN J. AGAYO)