There are some fundamental principles in creating a coaching relationship and my last email looked at two important aspects - setting the standard; and having a code of conduct that the client has agreed to - often known as 'contracting'.
It is then important to further establish the coaching relationship, despite the many challenges of working in a safety critical environment where direct instruction is often necessary on the move. Coaching conversations therefore need to happen when the car is not moving so that the client has time to reflect and consider what they want to get out of their time on the lesson.
Creating a relationship means being on the client's agenda and remaining focused on their motivation and goals in learning to drive. Finding out why they want to learn to drive is important because it establishes motivation and gives them something to hold onto when the going gets tough. It is known to accelerate learning if people have clear goals - the reason they want a driving licence is their long-term goal and it might vary from being important for work to increasing mobility or being able to ferry the kids around or gaining freedom.
If you ask your client what is their goal and they respond 'To pass my driving test', then the next question needs to be 'Why do you want to pass your driving test?' Encouraging your client to look beyond the driving test creates a real-life context for them and is known to accelerate their learning because they are able to relate what they are learning with you in the car to what they will need to do once they are driving 'solo'.
If you want to know more about coaching and communicating with your client then we have a number of courses that may help you. You can find more information here about our products and courses.
My next article will look at how it feels to be a coach.
There has been quite a lot of publicity recently about standards and I believe that it is essential that every ADI has their standards written down. Whilst that might involve signing up to the DVSA Code of Conduct, it is also important that we have a set of ethics and standards that are not taken for granted, especially as we are establishing coaching relationships with our customers.
When your client meets you for the first time be sure to discuss with them topics, such as
Coaching helps you to establish a good working relationship with your client and gives you the ability to create a safe and supportive learning environment. Because you have taken the time to be clear about your own standards before starting a course of lessons you will create an ongoing atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.
I have taken the tips below from the 'International Coaching Federation' because they are generic in all coaching relationships.
A good coach establishes trust and Intimacy with the Client and has the ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust. A coach: