“It’s impossible,” said pride.
“It’s risky,” said experience.
“It’s pointless,” said reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the heart."
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.
Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior
WHAT IS COACHING?
What is coaching and how does it work?
I have been asked this question so many times lately, that I thought it would be useful to try answering it in a "snackable" way.
Coaching is the best method to boost your life and your career. How is that so?
The goal of every coaching is to accelerate and to ensure your personal and/or professional growth.
Your coach works with you, as a sparring-partner, on the definition of:
your goals, visions and/or desires – clarifying what you really want
the best strategy available to get there – defining a roadmap, a timeline and an action plan
and on developing the resources you need on the way – developing your full potential on the way
FOR WHOM IS COACHING?
Coaches come in every size and colour and so do their clients.
Coaching is basically a development tool for anybody providing that the coachee is willing to actively participate in the improvement process.
Coaching has first been used in sports to increase the performance of top athletes (The pioneer and godfather of coaching research is Timothy Gallwey, a graduated of Harvard where he was captain of the Tennis team; In his « The inner game of tennis », he laid out the current methodology for coaching). Coaching has since been democratized and today not only top athletes but also many people practising a sport or just wanting to get fit have a sport coach and coaching in this field is perfectly common.
After sports, the first applications of coaching, in the corporate world, have been seen for top managers (Executive coaching), to help them become a better and more efficient version of themselves. But here again coaching has been democratized and has become a professional and personal development tool that more and more employees can ask for and that has even become a powerful vector for a company to attract and retain talents.
The applications of coaching cover almost every imaginable area, but most commonly coaches work in sports, health, on personal matters (life coaching) and on professional issues
(Business coaching or Executive coaching).
HOW DOES COACHING WORK?
Professional coaching is based on a relationship between the coach and the coachee where the coach is offering a distinct form of support and « uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the coachee’s level of awareness and responsibility and provides the coachee with structure, support and feedback » (International coaching federation/ ICF).
The process concentrates on where the coachee is now and on what he/she is willing to do to get where he/she wants to be in the future.
The coach will listen to you to understand whom you are, what you think and how you experience the world and will reflect back to you, to help you gain clarity and focus.
WHAT IS COACHING NOT?
This is the role of the consultant or the expert.
Coaching and consulting can be combined, though, to help you with specific solutions when they are needed while building up through the coaching process your proper set of resources, skills and your strategy.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A GOOD COACH?
My research and my experience have led me to identify 7 key features that can be expected from coaching.
1- HELPING YOU CLARIFYING WHAT YOU REALLY WANT
The coach will help you clarifying what you really want and finding a short, efficient and exciting way to reach your goals while helping you seeing where and when you stand in your own way.
The coach will support you on helping you focus, building the resources you need and reaching your goals.
You determine your objectives with your coach, who will help you develop an action plan for achieving those objectives.
3- GOAL SETTING
Your coach will “establish with you a coaching plan and development goals that address concerns and major areas for learning and development”. The coaching plan will set results that are attainable, measurable, specific and have target dates.
ICF, coaching core competences, number 10.
4- INCREASING YOUR SELF-REFLECTION ABILITIES
Through constant feedback, the coach will enable you to reflect upon your values, core beliefs, active and passive behaviour as well as unexploited competencies and talents thus favoring self-reflection.
5- DEVELOPING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL
The coach will help you reducing the impact of fears, self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs in your life while improving your confidence and your self-esteem, your self-awareness, your ability to manage stress, your efficiency and your work-life balance.
All qualified and certified coaches agree to a code of ethics, which protects the privacy of the people they coach. The content of the coaching discussions is though confidential.
7- CERTIFICATION / STANDARDIZATION/ PROFESSIONALISM IN COACHING
Coach is not a protected title. This means that anybody can basically just put a sign on his/her door and self proclame being a coach.
There are several professional organizations on the International level (e.g. ICF) or European level (e.g. ECA ) and even national level who try to standardize the profession and most coaches who are serious about methodology are following the standards of these organizations or are members of a professional organization trying to regulate the field of coaching.
Coaches, with a certain level of professionalism, should also be certified to guarantee their clients that they have attended theoretical and practical coaching classes; that they have learnt a certain methodology and are aware of the development, the research being done in the field of coaching and the existing coaching tools available.
Professional coaches who are certified, have normally also learnt to distinguish when a topic is coachable and when it should be discussed, on a more emotional level, with another specialist within a therapy, psychoanalysis or psychotherapy.
WHAT A GOOD COACH EXPECTS FROM YOU
As coaching is based on a relationship, it is a two-sided process. For this process to be successful, your commitment and implication in the process will be needed. Any serious coach will though expect from you to:
- Thinking about the areas that might be most useful to work on (personal, professional, relationships, taking decisions, general learning etc)
- Thinking about the goals you have at the moment
(Achieving something, making something happen, changing something, improving behaviour or competencies)
COMMON BENEFITS OF COACHING
The common benefits of coaching depend on the area focused on during the coaching process but include:
better sense of direction
improved work life balance
improved team effectiveness
improved communication skills
increased resourcefulness / resilience and the capacity to better adapt to change
improved time management
Dr. Dominique Bourqui - experienced entrepreneur, business coach and consultant.
Disclosure- The post may contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you purchase something via the link, I might receive a very small commission. The items listed are all things I have used, read, and recommend.