Peer Coaching: What kind do YOU want?
Sunday, July 10, 2016 19 Comments
What IS Peer Coaching
and how can it help YOU?
It depends on who you ask
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Peer Coaching vs. Professional Coaching
The most obvious difference is the fee: Peer Coaching doesn’t have one. It is also about the only difference with which everybody agrees – besides the importance of confidentiality.
Before I tell you about the brain-based, life-basics type — the kind that helps most of us struggling with Executive Functioning keep our lives in balance, juggling all of the pieces that have to stay in place (but rarely DO) — let’s take a quick look at some other types of “Peer Coaching.”
What other types?
There are probably as great a number of different interpretations of Peer Coaching and the benefits of working with a Peer Coach as there are types of coaching.
- Businesses and Business Coaches tend to see Peer Coaching more on the order of mentoring.
- Educational Institutes see it closer to tutoring when students are involved, and teaching skills mentoring and curriculum development when two educators work with each other.
- Many Coach Training institutes pair the students, but a great part of their time together is spent discussing their curriculum.
A quick search on Google brought up the following definition from the ASD site:
Peer coaching is a confidential process through which two or more professional colleagues work together to reflect on current practices; expand, refine, and build new skills; share ideas; teach one another; conduct classroom research; or solve problems in the workplace.
I Beg to Differ!
As new disciplines become popular, people tend to jump on the bandwagon.
As a result, identical terms become bandied about in a variety of other situations, to take advantage of the marketing advantage of piggy-backing on the popularity of certain terms.
The meanings of those terms change with each new application – just like that old “whisper a word in the next person’s ear” game of Telephone that children used to play.
That first happened with coaching itself.
- 25 years ago, those of us who were the pioneers of the Personal and Professional Coaching field spent hour upon non-billable hour coming up with a clear definition of the emerging field of Coaching that distinguished it from any other discipline, along with a set of core competencies, a professional code of ethics and standards, and a certification body.
- Despite that fact, once Coaching received a certain level of awareness in the mind of the public, all sorts of environments began to boast that they offered “coaching” – skilled or unskilled – and no matter what they meant by the term.
- Within a decade, the term Peer Coaching was similarly co-opted, as each different environment came up with their own particular idea of the meaning of the term.
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How I think of Peer Coaching
That sounds to me more like a quasi-professional unpaid coaching arrangement – only, for the most part, without coach training or mandated hours of coaching practice!
I believe it is more useful to focus on the meaning of the first word in the pairing: PEER Coaching – each, in turn, helping the other. I see no reason to confine it an agreement between professionals either.
I strongly believe that Peer Coaching is best done one-to-one, however. Otherwise it becomes far too similar to a support group, quality circle, or mastermind think-tank calling itself Peer Coaching.
I second the notion that Peer support needs to focus on essential skills that each partner identifies as areas for improvement. I also agree with the folks who insist that the peer client, not the peer coach, sets the agenda, or it becomes mentoring or tutoring.
The meaning of the term “essential” skills is where I differ most.
The Optimal Functioning Institute™ Definition
In the materials from my classes, I describe Peer Coaching in a fundamentally different, brain-based manner.
It is similar to the way in which I work with ADD/EFD clients who are struggling with focus, follow-through and other assorted items on the “intentional attending“ plate.
My definition of Peer Coaching focuses on personal coaching techniques designed to sharpen personal skills — and on little that is designed to hone educational or business skills, double business revenue or advance a career.
The personal skills that most need refinement and assistance in Alphabet City are those that fall under the banner of Executive Functioning, barely recognized or mentioned by other forms of peer coaching.
Related Post: Executive Functioning Disorders –
NOT just kid stuff
After all, when “EFD-flavored” lives lack success with foundational elements that people with “vanilla-flavored” brains can take for granted, it’s difficult to succeed in other arenas.
Regardless, the type of Peer Coaching I advocate has become a “catch-all” term for an arrangement where two individuals come to an agreement to coach one another — without the exchange of payment of any kind.
I further divide this type of Peer Coaching into three main types of “peers” that fall into the “without payment” dynamic, which I refer to as:
- Peer Coaching
- Partner Coaching and
What’s the Difference?
In OFI’s trainings, “pure” Peer Coaching is a term I use to refer to a “no fee” coaching relationship where neither of the individuals in the coaching partnership is a trained coach or in training to become a coach.
I also use the term to refer to a confidential relationship between two individuals focused on the pragmatics of living, rather than developing a coaching business, regardless of whether either is a professional coach or in training to become one.
(sometimes referred to as Buddy Coaching)
I use the term Partner Coaching to distinguish the type of Peer Coaching arrangement where two individuals coach one another as colleagues, on an equal footing, when the individuals are engaged in a coach training program.
The primary goals of partner coaching are generally directed, rather than the client-led agenda that characterizes a professional coach/client relationship where the client hires the coach. By “directed” I mean that the primary goals tend to revolve around assigned training homework designed to provide practice that will support skills acquisition.
Co-coaching is a term used to distinguish the type of Peer Coaching that is a professional courtesy arrangement where two professional coaches fashion a confidential coaching relationship with one another as colleagues — on an equal footing and without payment — but structured in a hybrid fashion which usually includes elements of Professional Coaching as well as “pure” Peer Coaching techniques.
Each uses the same Peer Coaching skillset
The Peer Coaching Skills remain the same in each of the three varieties. Similar to – but not the same as – Professional Coaching Skills: less extensive and learned in a shorter amount of time.
Once you learn how to work effectively with any type of peer coach, never again will a tight budget keep you from systems development coaching when you need it!!
I will be covering a few of the basics in articles to come, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile . . .
Peer Coaching Basic Training will be coming soon. Open enrollment for the next group will be announced shortly, but I want to give my readers an enrollment advantage.
In order to be effective, class size must remain really-I’m-not-kidding limited, and the kick-off tuition will have to be increased for subsequent groups.
Current and past clients, along with those who have expressed interest here on ADDandSoMuchMORE.com, will get first dibs on seats. So let me know if you are interested in being part of this inaugural class while tuition is as low as I can make it.
Be sure to leave me your name and email address so that I can contact you before I announce open enrollment (I will delete your email address BEFORE I approve the comment, so it will NOT be visible online. I can also keep your entire comment private, if you prefer).
You can also indicate interest by filling out the E-me! (contact) form always found on the top menu above each article, and checking the **PEER COACHING BASIC TRAINING** box — also found HERE.
Otherwise, stay tuned for the announcement here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com and be ready to jump in quickly.
Further information about what’s involved will be coming soon, but “official” registration will not be available for a few weeks yet. If this is something you believe you might like to do, in addition to leaving a comment below, start rounding up a practice partner who is interested in joining you for the training.
Click and HOLD on the top menu above every page for a drop-down menu with more information about Peer Coaching Basic Training.
© 2016, all rights reserved
Tuition for this training has already increased since the beta class, and the session after this one must be priced higher still. Tuition is unusually low ONLY because it is my policy to price early sections of new classes as low as possible while classes build momentum and I train new TeleClass Leaders. This also makes it possible for ADD/EFDers who are struggling with finances to attend. HOWEVER, all classes must ultimately be priced to include trainer payment as well as administration costs, or I won’t be able to pay MY bills!
So, if cost is a factor for YOU, be sure to let me know
that you want to sign up while tuition is as low as I can make it!
Don’t Forget: click and HOLD on the top menu above every page for a drop-down menu with more information about Peer Coaching Basic Training.
© 2016, all rights reserved
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There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.
Want to work privately with me? If you’d like some private coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), I have a few openings in my practice. Click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)
You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.
For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —
Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)
- ABOUT Alphabet Disorders
- TYPES of Attentional Deficits
- Juggling Invisible Balls
- ABOUT Executive Functions – a brief introduction & overview
- What ARE executive functions? – several experts attempt to answer
- Executive Functioning, Focus and Attentional Bias
- Executive Functioning Disorders – NOT just Kid Stuff!
A Few LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)
- The Optimal Functioning (Challenges) Series of articles
(about the Inventory & articles from each category)
- Back from Boggle™ Series
- The TaskMaster™ Series
- Time & Time Management articles
- The Transition Tamer™ Series
- The Stuff and Nonsense™ Series (clutter management)
- Top Ten Reasons to Reframe Procrastination