What is Coaching?
People enlist the services of a coach because they want to improve their situations and achieve goals. They want to learn new ways of thinking and approaching situations, in order to get better results. Common goals might be being more effective and organised at work, gaining confidence in certain situations, or simply relating to other people more effectively.
A skilled coach uses a combination of observation, questioning, listening and feedback to create a conversation rich in insight and learning. For the coachee, they will experience a focus and attention that enable them to develop a greater awareness and appreciation of their own circumstances. In addition, they will also create new ways to resolve issues, produce better results and generally achieve goals more easily.
Common benefits people experience from coaching include:
- Improved performance
- Improved sense of direction and focus
- Increased knowledge of self / self-awareness
- Improved ability to relate to and influence others
- Increased motivation
- Improved performance effectiveness, e.g. focused effort
- Increased resourcefulness / resilience, e.g. ability to handle change
- Increased confidence
What coaching is not?
Coaching is not any of the following:
- Structured training, e.g. classroom learning Structured training relates to a fixed agenda of learning, and a prepared approach to making that learning happen. For example, if you were being trained in a classroom to use a computer, the trainer would use a structured approach to making sure you learn a certain amount of information, within a certain time frame. Coaching follows a more flexible format, according to the coachee’s objectives. Both the coachee and the coach influence the direction and content of sessions. Coaching also places real responsibility for learning on the individual and encourages learning to continue after the session.
- Therapy, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy Whilst coaching is not therapy, and should not be viewed as therapy, it does provide a viable alternative to people who may have previously considered some form of counselling to resolve a situation. For example, coaching promotes a greater self-awareness, and full appreciation of our situations and circumstances. Sometimes, change can be promoted by a simple change in perspectives. Barriers of self-belief such as “I cannot” or “I do not” can be challenged in order to encourage fresh approaches and ideas.
- A way of someone else solving your problems for you Coaching is based in the principle that an individual is ultimately responsible for their lives and the results they are getting. If we acknowledge that we are response for something, it follows that we have power and influence over it. For example, if you are not getting the results at work that you want, a coach may encourage you to:
- Understand the situation more clearly
- Develop new ideas or approaches for such situations
- Take constructive action that gets you the results you want What a coach will not do is instruct you to go and do something specific or go and do it for you. If they did, the coach would be taking responsibility and so power away from you.
If you feel you need some support in a safe and confidential space – please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org