Developing Behavioural Agility for Coaching: Part 1
If I was to ask you to describe your behaviours as a coach, what would be your response?
If I was then to ask you to describe the behaviours of the performers you work with, again what would your response be?
In essence coaching is a very humanistic endeavour and at its’ core is the interaction between human beings. Thankfully we are all different, but in terms of behaviours we tend to fall within four basic behavioural styles (Dominance, Influence, Compliance and Steadiness) and each of us has a natural behavioural style and an adaptive behavioural style.
A natural behavioural style is your self – perception of the real you, in terms of your behaviours, and these are the behaviours we exhibit when we are in stressful situations. This is described as the real you because when we are under stress our thinking and reaction times are greatly reduced. Therefore we don’t have time to think about what behaviour is appropriate in any given situation so we revert to instinctive behaviour.
An adaptive behavioural style is your self – perception of the behaviours you feel are appropriate in any given coaching environment. This can change according to the behavioural needs of the performers you are working with and with the environment you are coaching in.
The impact of your behavioural style
As coaches we all have different coaching philosophies and styles and we all learn various processes and techniques within our coaching, but the way in which we apply these is underpinned by our behavioural style.
In coaching terms your behavioural style can impact on;
- Your style of communication and feedback
- How you make decisions and problem solve
- How you manage conflict
- Your Leadership and Management style
- Your Coaching and Mentoring style
- Your Emotional Intelligence
- Your Teaching / Delivery style
To be effective as coaches we need to have a good understanding of our behavioural style and the behavioural styles of our athletes and we need to adapt those behaviours to meet the differing needs of each performer. This is what is termed as behavioural agility.
In this series of blogs I am going to look at some of the processes and techniques we can use as coaches to help develop behavioural agility with a view to improving coaching effectiveness.
Within the next part I will look more closely at the four behavioural styles and how we can recognise those behavioural styles in ourselves and our performers.
Between now and the next part of this series why not have a go at reflecting on the following questions.
What is your coaching philosophy and how does that impact on the way you coach?
How would you describe your coaching style?
How do you adapt your coaching style to be effective with the people you coach?
Written by David Doran of S4P Coaching
Dave is a Performance Coach and works with individuals and teams, in sport and business, to improve Performance. He is currently working with coaches within Premiership Football, Rugby League, Basketball and Hockey.
He is an Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and New Buckinghamshire University, where in partnership with Thomas Sport is developing the use of profiling in sport to enhance coaching performance.
To find out more about Dave visit his website at www.s4pcoaching.com or Link with him at