Monday, 18 September 2017

Using the GROW coaching model to help someone reach SFHEA status

As part of my interview for my new role as Lecturer in Higher Education, I was asked to deliver a ten minute presentation prior to the questions. This is fairly common in the education sector and makes sense in any sort of teaching role as you are showing that you can present knowledgably and engagingly, even when incredibly nervous, as well keep to time (a very important and often underused skill).

The topic was:

“My approach to supporting an experienced and senior academic begin to apply for Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy”

I have never helped anyone gain Senior Fellowship before; however, I have had many conversations with experienced and senior academics and, while I still have some of the wounds, I believe I've learned a lot from them. As many of you know, I'm a great believer in the power of coaching and think it can be enormously beneficial, so I decided to take this approach and use the GROW model to demonstrate it.

GROW is a coaching model acronym which stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will.

I talked about how finding out what the Goal was for the academic - why were they trying to achieve SFHEA status? Had they been told to do it? Was it something they knew the value of? If I knew their motivations I would be able to better support them.

I then moved onto Reality. Did they meet the criteria of the UKPSF Framework? The accreditations for the Higher Education Academy are not hierarchical; for example, a highly established researcher may be very eminent in her field but if she doesn't support the teaching of others then she will not meet the criteria for Senior Fellowship and would be better going for Fellowship instead.

Options included how I could support the academic: through different types of workshops, through a mentor programme, through providing templates and so on.

With Will, I discussed investigating the level of motivation and commitment of the academic. Ultimately, the process was up to them and it's important they understand this.

In a bid for extra authenticity, alongside my explanations of how I could enable a person to grow and flourish, I was able to include lots of pictures of gardening, seeds and vegetables (another area of life I'm passionate about). It felt very apt!

My new role will involve much more mentoring and coaching so I am really looking forward to putting this into practice and I hope in future to be able to complete a coaching qualification to cement and add credibility to my work.

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