Often good objective performance assessment information is sufficient to create new levels of discrepancy and motivation for practitioners striving for additional skill mastery. This is true whether it is in the area of client assessment, Motivational Interviewing or cognitive coaching. However, unlike in client assessment, where often the implied adjustments are technical in nature (e.g., scoring rule violations, increased probing, a better structuring statement), developing staff MI or cognitive coaching skills more often requires adaptive or developmental shifting on the part of the practitioner. When this is the case adaptive coaching sessions are advisable to increase the confidence and skills (MI, cognitive coaching) of the practitioner.
The Value of Skill Practice
If seeing is believing, then practicing is becoming. Our coaches build on the feedback reports a practitioner receives from J-SAT to extend or move from an understanding of the findings to immediate practice and skill rehearsal connected to whatever the skill or principle that might be that is prioritized in the report. This is readily affected by our coaches who can flexibly shift between client, direct report, supervising officer, case manager, and officer supervisor roles, in order to provide a practice or simulation context. A key part of the coach’s task is to progressively clarify an adequate generic image of what the skill in question looks like in action and why. Another part is providing opportunities galore for the practitioner to demonstrate, even faint facsimiles, of their skill. Finally, our coaches continue to encourage each practitioner to stretch into more challenging renditions of the skill(s).
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