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How many times has a friend recommended a podcast, blog or book telling you that it is the answer to sorting your life out and fulfilling your dreams only for you to try it and find it of no use at all. Or worse you’ve invested your time and money in some coaching that seems to work for others, only to find that it just doesn’t work for you and you’re not sure why.

There is a good reason for this. We each have our own unique belief system about knowledge and learning, which reflects our values, our culture, our experiences. This then informs what we believe to be true and therefore trust.  For instance, if you are looking to buy something would you trust numbers to guide you or would you trust people’s opinions?

I was once delivering a coach training course and was extolling the virtues of using play to enable behaviour change. One of the participants was growing ever more agitated so I asked why. Their belief system did not align with the idea of trying new behaviours without a defined programme. They wanted SMART targets that were highly accountable. Unpacking this they revealed that they had grown up on a military base and were the child of a soldier. They would only engage with a process of development and learning that aligned with their belief system. It was what they trusted. We all trust different types of knowledge. Therefore no one system of learning, of development, of coaching, can work for everyone. Coaching must be responsive to individual beliefs about knowledge to enable trust in the process.

On an organisational level, culture should attract people with similar beliefs. We invest time and money into creating cultures and use recruitment processes that attract similar people in order to grow a strong culture.  Therefore, it is possible to create a coaching system that is responsive to the culture within your organisation and your people, through tailoring it to meet your needs. However, even then there will be sub-cultures within your organisation where different approaches are necessary. A team of creatives is likely to trust a different process of coaching than your accounts team. Trying to use the wrong system or model is not only ineffective, it can make people feel a failure and therefore be counter intuitive.

There are so many coaching models and processes out there that claim to have the right answer, but it may not be the right answer for you and your organisation. The first step before you engage in any coaching process is to think about the belief system that best fits you and your organisation and then you can find the right coaching for you.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about our bespoke designed in-house coaching programmes.