Police Interview Newsletter - Personal Coaching

Volume 1, Issue 5
May, 2002

What Is Coaching?

Not too long ago, the word "coaching" referred almost exclusively to the kinds of instruction and mentoring associated with athletic endeavors, or perhaps musical training such as voice lessons. We are familiar, for instance, with the practice of baseball teams employing batting coaches, pitching coaches, infield and outfield coaches, first and third base coaches, etc. At the recent Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, we saw how serious team sport athletes and individual competitors of all kinds (skiers, speed skaters, bobsledders) worked collaboratively with coaches to maximize physical conditioning, mental preparation, and the ability to execute well-rehearsed skills in the throes of world class competition.

In the past five to ten years we have witnessed a near-explosive growth in the "personal" and "executive" coaching field. People are hiring coaches to optimize personal and professional functioning, as well as to identify the elements necessary to creating more satisfying lifestyles for themselves.

Specialized coaching is available to help well-functioning individuals with nearly every aspect of life:

• Executive problem solving
• Career transition
• Job search
• Balancing home and work
• Time management
• Improving marriage and family life
• Stress management
• Health Enhancement
• Improving emotional intelligence

A useful and widely accepted definition of coaching, adopted by the International Coach Federation, is quoted in Personal and Executing Coaching by Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D.

"Coaching is an ongoing relationship between the professional coach and the client, which focuses on the client taking action toward the realization of their vision, goals or desires. Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client's level of awareness and responsibility and provides the client with structure, support, and feedback (p.6)."

Coaches are professionals, often psychologists or mental health specialists, who can apply their basic knowledge of human development, learning and motivation concepts, personality, interpersonal communication, and understanding one's thoughts and feelings to help guide well-adjusted clients in identifying some important action-oriented goals for their lives. Life transitions (eg. School to work, job promotion challenges, mid-life career changes, adjustment to family life, retirement, to name a few).

As your coach, I will help and encourage you to build on existing strengths and to crystallize job-hunting objectives and action steps. The coaching process emphasizes self-empowerment and healthy balance in one's personal and professional life. Coaching is not psychotherapy or counseling!

Please go to the "Coaching Services" page of my web site at http://www.LawEnforcementCoaching.com to download two documents that outline the coaching process in more specific detail: (1) "Applicant Coaching Goals" and (2) "Coaching Agreement." The Coaching Goals form helps clients to begin thinking about their specific coaching needs and objectives. The Coaching Agreement form describes the nature of the coaching relationship and outlines how we will work together.


How Does The Coaching Process Work?

According to Jeffrey Auerbach (Personal and Executive Coaching, p.31-39), the coaching process consists of six elements or steps. I have summarized these components as follows:

1. Connection - Establishing a working relationship with the client by getting to know and understand his/her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Showing interest and support for the client's current life challenges.

2. Assessment - Evaluating the client's situation, strengths, developmental needs, values, and goals. Client questionnaires and personality inventories are often informative and helpful with goal setting.

3. Articulation - Exploring and clarifying the client's dreams, goals, and definition of success. Helping client to draft a coaching agenda that will guide and focus the coaching sessions. Creating a compelling personal vision of achievement.

4. Action - Facilitating the client in translating identified goals into reasonable solutions and action steps. Providing honest feedback, setting timetables, brainstorming homework assignments, and anticipating possible obstacles to success.

5. Commitment - Encouraging and directing clients to make necessary commitments regarding how, when, and where specific homework actions will be completed. Self-selected goals must be compatible with client interests, values, and vision of success.

6. Support - Empowering clients to utilize supportive relationships and untapped resources to achieve high level performance. Encouraging clients to experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving.


Coaching Benefits for Law Enforcement Applicants:

•Crystallize your career vision
•Set clear goals and objectives
•Assess your strengths and developmental needs
•Guide your application process
•Collaborate to establish your action plan
•Keeps you focused and on schedule with action plan
•Prepare for Oral Interview appearance
•Problem solve potential obstacles to employment
•Honest feedback during all phases of coaching process
•Deal with procrastination and avoidance of tasks
•Learn new skills
•Manage conflicts with others
•Cope with negative emotional states
•Become a better communicator
•Improve interpersonal skills
•Increase your emotional intelligence


Ask the Experts

In this regularly appearing column, Dr. Hart and local law enforcement officers respond to frequently asked questions.

Applicant: Please tell me more about the Teleconference Oral Interview Practice Session.

Dr. Hart: Sure, I'd be happy to describe it for you. For many years, police and deputy sheriff applicants have been telling me that the Oral Interview portion of the application process is highly stressful and anxiety producing. Believing that successful job interviewing is a skill that can be learned and developed, I've put together a structure that will allow law enforcement applicants to gain some live experience and practice for the Oral Board. A panel of veteran officers and I are offering you the opportunity to participate in a live, 45 minute telephonic "Oral Interview" practice session, complete with (1) immediate feedback on your performance and (2) suggestions for improvement. Practice sessions will be pre-arranged and applicant clients will be asked to call into a secure "telephone bridge" line where the officers and I will "meet" you for the interview. The virtual Oral Board Panel will conduct a 20-30 minute interview, consisting of 12 to 15 structured questions. Some time will also be spent reviewing your biographical information and resume, if available. As in a face-to-face interview, Board Members will attend closely to your behaviors and verbal responses to the interview questions. They will be making notes and evaluating the quality of your presentation. At the end of the formal interview period, each Board Member will offer you some interview feedback and suggest some ways to improve and strengthen your performance. I regard this practice session as a valuable way to test out and improve your interview skills in a setting that comes very close to the real thing. Please call me if you'd like additional information about costs and arrangements.


Phone: 804-353-6700
Fax: 804-358-7867
Email: MacHart@PoliceInterview.com

Malcolm M. Hart, Ph.D.
4807 Radford Avenue
Suite 103
Richmond, VA. 23230

Helping Law Enforcement Applicants Secure Jobs.



"Law Enforcement Coaching" is dedicated to helping law enforcement applicants achieve success in the job search process.

Dr. Hart provides fee-based, telephonic coaching to police and deputy sheriff applicants throughout the United States.

His Services include: - Telephone Coaching Sessions - Practice Interviews with Law Enforcement Officers

See Website for Fees & Details