Tonight the final episode of BBC’s Great British Bake Off is aired on TV.  It is designed to find the best amateur baker, and includes a series of tests – the SIgnature Bake, the Technical Bake and the Showstopper Bake.  These tests showcase the contestant’s personality, creative flair and baking ability and it can leave you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the final outcome.

Coaching

It got me thinking about the practice of coaching, and how a similar format could work to show off the talents of master coaches. So what would the tests include?

The Signature Coaching Strength

Perhaps the first test could highlight the particular strength that the coach has to offer.  This requires coaches to be clear about their niche area, and the particular strengths that they bring to their work.  Is it the abilility to be authentic and non-judgemental, or maybe their ability to challenge and be incisive in their questions, or even their knowledge of a particular business sector and its nuances? As the coaching market becomes more flooded with coaches who have llimited experience,or few qualifications it is even more important that as a coach you are clear about your particular areas of strength and the type of ideal clients that you like to work with.

The Technical Challenge

This could be an opportunity to be tested in real time working with a new client.  The client could come from a sector that the coach is unfamiliar with, and perhaps is looking for a particular solution and expect the coach to tell them the “answer” which the coach is not used to doing.  Maybe they find it hard to sit still, so does the coach offer the idea of going for a walk as a way to addressing the clients needs.  The coach would be observed to see if they wrote up coaching notes, or did any reflection afterwards.  Whatever the issues and approaches that were put into the mix, it would challenge the coach to adapt and step out of their comfort zone.    So how often as a coach do you step out of your comfort zone – and what sort of situations cause you to do this?

The Showstopper

This test could showcase the excellence of master coaches and include how they perform in chemistry sessions, contract with the client, deliver the best for the client in each session, practice excellence in reflective practice and give something back to the coaching profession.  Being an all round excellent coach is not just about doing great work in the session, but so much more.

What elements would you include to showcase the excellence of master coaches?

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