Behavioral Coaching

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Behavioral Coaching

Sometimes, executives, who bring immense value to an organization with their technical expertise, also bring with them some or the other derailing behavior. A derailing behavior is a behavioral pattern that is inconsistent with the expectations of the organization or team culture. And no matter your expertise in the technical sphere, these de-railing behaviors could be a showstopper. While the organization and colleagues immensely value the professional wisdom and business acumen of the person, a set of behaviors color the entire experience of working with the individual. It is imperative to address such behavioral challenges to ensure that the individual can perform effectively in all aspects of the workplace – not just technical areas but also manage people and relationships effectively. This is where behavioral coaching could be of great value.

Behavioral coaching is usually confused with counseling or psychiatric intervention to bring about a change in behavior of the client to help them function normally. However, behavior coaching is not related to counseling or psychiatric intervention. While therapy through counselling or a psychiatric intervention looks at the inner and deep-rooted mental processes of and individual and is usually past focused. Behavioral coaching is more focused on the outward behavior of the individual and is more future focused. Behavioral coaching is meant to make an individual realize what are effective behaviors and create an action plan for practicing those, it is not meant to address mental health conditions. It works on a measurable paradigm which aims at bringing about change in actions, reactions and responses of an individual to other individuals, teams and organizations.

Behavioral coaching is based on the principle that most of the human behavior is learned, our learned behaviors become our preferred behaviors when we tend to display the same behaviors over and over – thus building hard-wired neural patterns for those behaviors. Most individuals encounter a problem when they indiscriminately use the same behavioral patterns without conscious judgement of whether a behavior will be appropriate in a certain situation or not. It is this automatic behavioral response and overuse of behavioral patterns that starts in more negative outcomes over a period.

Behavior coaching model believes that since most of our behaviors are learned, they can be changed through un-learning and re-learning in order to result in positive outcomes. Behavior coaching facilitates exploration of our behaviors, values, attitude, perceptions, beliefs, motives, emotions and actions that can help us make significant changes in our behaviors. It enables us to understand if our behaviors are based on emotions and unconscious response or intellectual and conscious thought.

The behavioral coaching model is basically derived from various disciplines such as psychology, leadership and management, philosophy and organizational sociology. All these disciples contribute towards creating a comprehensive behavioral coaching engagement that looks towards identifying effective managerial and leadership traits, understanding human psychology towards change and identifying behavioral patterns and building an effective and actionable plan for change. 

Behavioral coaching deals with:

  • Recognizing personal behavioral patterns. This is usually done using a well-known and reliable psychometric assessment tool like DISC.
  • Identifying de-railing behaviors in the context of the organization or team. This requires the coachee to engage in self-reflection and getting feedback from stakeholders either informally or formally through a 360 survey. This is a critical step as it sets the tone for the outcomes expected from the coaching journey.
  • Goal setting. Once the de-railing behaviors have been identified, the coachee now sets goals around behavioral change. What are those behaviors that the coachee would like to modify? Remember, human behaviors are set patterns of response and are therefore difficult to change but need based modification with practice can be achieved.
  • Action plan and implementation. In this phase of the behavioral coaching journey, the coach and the coachee together arrive at an action plan for bringing about the behavioral change. This is done by arriving at identifying new behavioral patterns and creating opportunities for practicing those. The coach and coachee work closely in this phase to continuously assess and review specific instances of when the individual was able to practice the desired behavior and when not.
  • The coaching journey ends when a desired level of behavioral effectiveness is achieved. However, ensuring that the coachee continues to practice new behaviors is critical and this is done through creating a continuous action and analysis plan.

We at Strengthscape, use the DANCE Methodology for behavioral coaching to effectively navigate through all these steps. To know more Contact Us.