What is Coaching?
What is coaching and is it right for you?
It has been said that no one requires coaching but everyone needs coaching. First let me describe what coaching is and what it is not. The relationship between a coach and client is co-creative, meaning that they are equals yet each with a distinctive role. A well trained coach will have excellent listening skills and and will respond with questions for the client that will allow them to expand and look deeper into their issue. The coach is trained to notice something in the clients voice or a repetitive theme that may spark an intuitive thought that may bring about a major shift and big results. It is important that the client come to each session with a specific agenda item and be open-minded to new approaches. What coaching is not is therapy, counseling or even consulting. A trained coach uses honed communication skills and together with the client can effect meaningful change to take dynamic actions towards their goal.
The best way for me to describe coaching to someone is to use this analogy (I came up with). My wife and daughter frequently come to me with a chain or necklace that has somehow formed a knot of major proportions. I have a process where I put the tangled piece of jewelry on the granite counter and with 2 very sharp and pointed paring knives, slowly and methodically tug and gently probe the knot. Often times I will move multiple chain sections to expose the real knot and even turn the necklace over to expose the cause of the tangled situation. Only then can I begin to work with the chain to uncover the underlying cause of the knot. With the proper techniques and patience the knot can be untangled and freed. There was no cutting the chain to remove the knot but only careful understanding of the how the knot was formed and then taking the appropriate steps to improve the situation. Coaches approach client issues in a similar fashion. They will tug at the issues and probe deeper and even get the client to look at the situation from a different angle to give it a different perspective. After clearly seeing the issue, the coach and client work together to resolve the problem or conflict.OK, it is not exactly how coaching works but I think you get the point. One thing to understand is that coaching is a process and although you may see results very quickly, some issues may take sometime to resolve in order to get to the underling problem. The important thing is that the client and coach continue to work together in a co-creative relationship.
So is coaching right for you? The answer is yes if you are willing to address your concerns and are committed to making changes in your life to work towards your goals. You must also be willing look at your situation introspectively and be prepared to take action. The client must also be willing to make the sessions a priority and to come to each session with a specific agenda, complete the tasks that agreed to by you and your coach, and willing to change your beliefs and patterns if they no longer serve you anymore. Some clients expect the coach to do all the heavy lifting because they are the ‘ones being paid.’ Actually, it is quite the opposite, the majority of the work falls on the client’s lap with guidance and structure from the coach. If you understand theses conditions, then coaching is for you and an investment in your future that can provided dividends for a lifetime.