Have you ever wondered what coaching is all about?
The demand for coaching has grown in recent years and continues to do so. To start with, I want to ask you a question – What is your understanding of coaching?
The ICF defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’
Thus, coaching is a conversation, or a series of conversations, that one person has with another. What makes the conversation different is the impact the conversation has on the person being coached. An effective coaching conversation challenges, guides and encourages someone’s understanding, learning, behaviour and progression.
- Working collaboratively at the same pace.
- Conversations with purpose.⠀
- Breaking new ground which can be challenging yet encourages a deeper conversation (& outcome). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Go deep.
- Identify possibilities.
- Change the way you think (e.g. remove limiting beliefs that could be holding you back). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Coaching is not: Mentoring, Counselling, Training, Management and Consulting. These are very different things.
“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
These words can hold some importance, especially for those of us who currently feel a bit stuck, need a new approach, a change in direction, find a purpose, or are not getting the results they want. When faced with such situations, working with a coach can help clients make significant changes in their life, and start to achieve the results they desire.
Coaches are great in identifying when a client can be shying away from the wider picture and pointing out (with the client’s permission) any limiting beliefs that may be keeping them back from achieving what they want. A good coach will push individuals to the limits and will help them grow and get what they really want out of their life as a whole.
As an individual, you may work really hard in your life, however at some point we all hit certain walls and have blind spots. A good coach can help you recognise and address them.
Unfortunately, the coaching industry is not as regulated as other “helping” professions such as, therapy and NHS Mental Health related support. Many people call themselves coaches but they have no idea what coaching is and some have never been trained by a credentialed coach and course. This can be problematic, as due to the lack of such regulation, the quality of coaches will vary as well as give the coaching profession a bad name and reputation.
So, when looking for a coach, be prepared to interview a number of professionals, review their background and experience, and check out their qualifications. A good starting point is to identify whether the coach has been accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Don’t be shy in asking for testimonials, reviewing their LinkedIn pages and checking out other social media profiles like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also ask to see proof of insurance and even look them up on Companies House.
While the coach is not your colleague, friend or mentor, they will support and help you to succeed and reach your desired goal. The right coach will hold you accountable and challenge you in ways that may feel uncomfortable at times. However, with their support you can grow, learn and succeed. An experience coach will never tell you what to do or even offer advice. Instead, the role of the coach will help you identify your options and come up with the best choices based on the goals you want to achieve.
Coaching is about using the right type of questions. Questions hold the power to cause us to think, create answers from ourselves, that we believe in and act on our ideas. Asking questions moves us beyond passive acceptance of what others say and do. Questions honour you as a person and communicate your values as an equal.
It is important to note, that coaching is confidential, safe and is proven to work.
I will end this piece, with how I started. By asking you a question – (and now you know about coaching…) What would you do, if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you try to achieve?