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Interlocking of Coaching (Associate Certified Coach) and TA - Kiran Katawa home
Vikrant Goyal Kiran Katawa is working as Agile Coach with an MNC in Bangalore, carrying 15+ years of IT industry experience. He is pursing DTA in Organization theme with Suriyaprakash C TSTA (O). He is also ACC(Associate Certified Coach) trained coach from Karen Pratt TSTA (E), working towards his ICF accreditation. He loves teaching, Kannada literature and reading books. He is reachable at: Kiran.katawa@gmail.com

I completed 6 out of my 7 days of TCP (The Coach Practitioner) training for ACC(Associate Certified Coach) certification from ICF(International Coach Federation). It is conducted by Karen Pratt. The course is related to TA in its philosophical approach and the model of scripts. It is about partnering with the client to facilitate them in changing their limiting script into a positive and enabling life plan. However, TA framework and/or any other framework can be used while coaching. Karen has a TA background and that was also one of the reasons for me to choose this course. The course touches upon other non-TA frameworks also.

In this article, I am writing about how I see 3 of the TA concepts fitting into the coaching framework, making it powerful and easy. I am also touching on the advantage of taking this course, apart from studying TA. And what possibly could be a challenge in using TA framework.

Coaching is a co-creative journey with the coachee, where we touch upon, explore, expand, deep-dive with the coachee's challenge and let the coachee discover/create a solution or move on with the challenge. This is done via listening, questioning, reflecting, feedback and so-on. For doing these, one can use various frameworks and TA is one of them. The 3 frameworks of TA which I am touching upon are: Discounting Matrix, Racket System and OK Corral.

Discounting Matrix:
We know the discounting matrix as below:

Mode/Type Stimulus Problem Options
Existence Existence of stimulus (T1) Existence of problem (T2) Existence of options(T3)
Significance Significance of stimulus (T2) Significance of the problem (T3) Significance of options
Change Possibility Is there a possibility of change of stimulus (T3) Is there a possibility of changing the problem, at this stage? (T4) How much of change is possible thru these options (T4)
Personal Ability Does the coachee believe in his ability? (T4) Designing the strategies for the problem (T5) Coachee's ability to do it (T6)

In coaching, the entire attention is shifted from past to present and future. As a coach, I believe that if a coachee is approaching the problem in a certain way, he would definitely have a set of reasons for doing it. So, I won't ask him to justify it, which could lead him to the past. Asking for justifying, could also lead me to judge the coachee or the coachee may feel being judged, though I am not intending to.

As a coach, I consider that there are enough stimuli (T1), which is significant (T2). Hence, the coachee is aware of the problem (T2). So, the discussion starts with what is it that the coachee wants to achieve, by the end of the session/sessions. To say in other words, I stand in the present and help the coachee search the way forward into the future, given the current issue and where he stands. This also takes me off the "content" of the issue and shift to the "person" and his/her "abilities".

Going by the Discounting Matrix, I've accepted T1 and T2 and start the work on T3 to T6. In this co-creative journey, we visit each position on each column of the modes, till we reach T6. This needn't be in sequential order and may swing back and forth. In the process, the coachee may also visit T1 and T2 and flex. The whole conversation will be intuitive and can keep jumping around any of T1 to T6, but, predominantly it's between T2 to T6. This framework defines the playground.

This framework equips me, as a coach, to pop up a plethora of questions around the issue, from different angles, and also helps me see where the coachee is discounting. As Julie Hay mentions, once his discounting at a stage is realized by the coachee, he will take himself thru to the end. I've often realized this while working with my co-learners in the practice sessions. Once it clicks, the whole conversation appears as 10-mark questions: one line question and 10-20 lines of answer!!

The Racket System(Script System):
Once the coachee has identified a solution to mitigate the issue, what is the surety that the change works? What's my convincing factor here?

Before the session, the coachee would have had a fixed FoR (Frame of Reference) about the issue for which he has come for coaching. Once, we work thru the discounting matrix, he would have chosen other viable options. Also, it would be his choice and so, is based on his FOR. Going by the Racket System, with the implementation of the new option, a new cycle begins. The option chosen could be at any level – either at belief of self/others/world, change in coachee's behavior (internal or external), revisiting the evidence from the past. This starts feeding back to itself and a new cycle begins and so the new results.

OK Corral:
We know that OK Corral is different than the OK-OK positions. OK Corral is at operational level and brings to our awareness the type of operation we have chosen in our behavior. Taking a view from OK Corral, the session would bring out the coachee's current behavior/s as to whether he is Getting Away From (GAF), Getting Rid of (GRO), Getting No Where (GNW) with the problem. After the coaching, he may still choose to be with any of the above behaviors at operational level, but, he is aware of it. This makes him to be OK with his choices. Note that he may also explore an OK-OK option of Get Along With (GAW) the issue in hand.

That doesn't mean, we stop the work at the operational level, in which case, it will be just a 'Transactional Coaching'. We will deep-dive into the script and its meaning for the coachee and work along with it.

Touching upon the other things...the question I had before joining this course was - when I have TA, why go for coaching? In coaching I would build my muscles as how to shift to future, how to integrate various data and listen to the underlying concern, listening to the coachee at a different level. TA gives me a framework for identifying the discounting. While coaching gives me the depth and abilities to deal with the discounting at various levels without bringing in my content and without judging. It strengthens my OK-OK stance with the world.

I felt like this coaching course and TA are made for each other and could see so much of love between them ;). Thanks to 3 fellas - Srinath Nadathur, Deepak Dhananjaya and Shiva Krishnan, who clarified my doubts and guided me to go for this coaching.

However, I need to be mindful of using this ability with a non-TA coachee. I am sure, the more I internalize the concepts of TA and live them, the more I'll become non-technical. It is also one of the challenges that we explore in our course journey, as not all the participants are of TA background.

By this month end, I will be completing this journey and getting my Certification of Attendance and will be kicking off a new journey towards my ACC credential by attesting the coaching experience hours. I am excited about it and also feel well equipped.

Thanks to Karen for reviewing and guiding me on the philosophical link between coaching and TA and around 'Transactional Coaching' mentioned in this article.

References:
Erskine, Richard & Zalcman, Marilyn (1979) The racket system; a model for racket analysis Transactional Analysis Journal, 9(1), 51-59

Ernst Franklin (1971) The OK Corral

Mellor, Ken & Schiff, Eric 1975 Discounting Transactional Analysis Journal 5: 3 295-302

 
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arr Coaching and TA
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arr Lucid Dreaming
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arr Becoming Socially Intelligent
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