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Using coaching for learning and self-development


Using opportunities

As a student you may be lucky enough to find that your course tutors or module leaders are familiar with coaching and are willing to use coaching principles in their teaching. If this is the case then make the most of it and engage with it, even if initially it feels a little odd, as if they are not giving you the information you need. In fact, they are doing more than that - they are encouraging you to find your own solutions, which will help you learn much better in the long run. 


Even if your tutors are not using coaching principles, you may find other student support services, such as the library or counselling service, offer coaching opportunities for specific study skills, such as giving presentations or managing time. If you have the opportunity, go along to some of these sessions, even if you don't have a real problem in that area, and look at the questions and techniques that are used. Then try to use these in your personal study. 


Even if you have no access to coaching at your institution, you can still make use of coaching for your own learning. Ideally work with a study group of friends so that you can coach each other and learn to self-coach that way. Self-coaching is when you apply the principles of coaching, including asking questions of yourself, to your own challenges, without outside intervention. It can be very effective but is best to do in conjunction with coaching conversations with someone else, particularly if you have no prior experience of coaching, although only self-coaching is better than no coaching at all. 


Self or peer coaching

If you want to use coaching either in your own study or with your friends, start by making sure you are clear what coaching is all about.


You can use our self-study materials to learn more about how to coach:  A self study guide on learning to coach. You may also find it useful to do the Wheel of Life exercise, perhaps concentrating it on your work or study areas. As you are coaching yourself think through the challenges you face using the GROW model: specify your goals, consider where you are now, look at the options available to you and commit to an action plan for moving forward. You may also find it useful to consider the model of Intentional Change: try out the Kite exercise and consider what you need to do to move from your current position to your ideal self. 


Relevant examples

You may find it interesting to look at all our case studies of course but if you are pressed for time, check out Case Study 3 from our student coaching ambassadors. You may also find Case Study 1 interesting. If you can, also have a look at some of the students' digital stories, on our video page, where they explain what coaching has meant to them in their own words. 


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