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What is Personal Coaching?

Coaching is a conversational tool, an approach to personal development, a style of teaching and more generally, a way of thinking.

What is Personal Coaching?

Coaching is a conversational tool, an approach to personal development, a style of teaching and more generally, a way of thinking.

The Role of Coaching in Business and Education

As part of its own internal management study, Google recently analysed more than 10,000 performance reviews, surveys, and nominations for top-manager awards to determine the best practices of its most effective bosses. What emerged were a group of key qualities. The trait that rose to the top as the most important was "Is a good coach." Equipped with this new knowledge, Google set out to transform its managers into great personal coaches.

Google have defined a great personal coach as:

  1. Providing timely and specific feedback
  2. Delivering honest feedback in a motivational and thoughtful way
  3. Tailoring approaches to meet individual communication styles in regular one-on-one meetings
  4. Practicing empathetic "active" listening
  5. Asking open-ended questions to encourage personal reflection

Coaching at Merchant Taylors’

Over the past 3 years, MTS has been training staff and embedding a coaching methodology in our own practices. Across the senior and prep schools, we have now trained over 100 members of teaching and support staff in the foundations of personal coaching and 8 staff becoming qualified trainers. We are now in a position that staff have the option of using a coach-like approach to conversations with pupils, tutees, colleagues, mentees and parents.

As teachers, coaching gives us options. Of course, we can and must give advice, suggest ideas and instruct at times. That’s part of our job. But coaching also trains us to be less directive in certain circumstances and to have the strength to hold back from simply offering advice. In the right situations, encouraging self-reflection helps pupils to become more independent thinkers, resilient problem-solvers and more empowered as learners.

With its central focus on improvement, coaching entirely supports our aims at Merchant Taylors’. Holistic by nature, emphasising independence, accountability and self-reflection, personal coaching is wholeheartedly in tune with our aims as a school and we hope that by embracing the ethos in our daily business, we can enhance and improve our community’s experiences and academic achievements yet further.