“Coaching” is more than just a buzzword everyone is using. But what exactly is it?
Coaching in the academic field has been around since the early 1800s. It continues to provide many benefits today. Unfortunately, a lot of misconceptions still exist about professional coaching, how it works, and the benefits it can provide to individuals and organizations.
The Basics of Coaching
To coach someone means to help that individual gain clarity in his or her current situation. Essentially, it is a way to increase self-awareness, and then defining the desired outcome and how to achieve it.
Coaching is a form of psychological work; a coach asks a client questions to help him or her to shift focus and see more than ever before. Coaches utilize a range of techniques, including backtracking, to provide a safe environment for clients to explore their thoughts and emotions, be open, and be honest with themselves.
Coaching sessions have a structure that allows the client to produce concrete results; it is not just a nice talk between two people. The client always sets the agenda and the metrics for the outcome, while the coach is there to facilitate the client’s thinking process in the client’s desired direction. The coach does not give external advice on what to do but instead listens and is free of judgment.
Setting the Outcome
The coaching process starts by defining the outcome. We live in a fast-paced world where our minds are continually racing with thoughts and bouncing from one topic to another. So, we are not always sure exactly what we want or only have an inkling that we know what it is that we want. That is where the coach enters to encourage analysis of what your idea is and pull out details to define the destination where you want to arrive.
Or, perhaps you have come to a difficult situation and are not sure how to navigate through it. The coach will work with you to achieve the outcome you desire in this scenario, as well as help you to manage stress, put your mind at ease, and focus on solutions.
Every session starts with the coach asking the client questions: “What do you want to work on today? What do you want to achieve? How would you know you have it?” It may take several sessions to even define the outcome, but when you do, it is an amazing sense of clarity that you gain and with it comes empowerment. You feel energy when you find your truth; it is then that you have an “aha” moment. You can start to tap into your internal resources that previously were out of reach. Then, your ability to develop plans, modify behaviors, become a new person, and acquiring new skills is not that difficult.
The Future Tense
Another important point is that coaching is about looking at the present and how it affects the future. Coaches won’t help you make sense of what happened to you in the past; they won’t work with your past wounds and any damage from childhood; there are certain therapies that can do that. Instead, professional coaching focuses on forward thinking. Often we don’t need to know how and why we got where we are now, what is important is having self-awareness of where the power lies in the present moment and crystal clear direction.
Who Benefits from Coaching?
Coaching helps everyone to some extent. You get the most benefit from the coaching process when you want to change, do something new, or further your life or business. When you feel satisfaction with your life, then you are less likely to seek the support of a coach.
When you are in a new environment, however, or are in the midst of a change in your business life, then coaching can be an excellent tool to direct your mind in the direction of your choice. Watch your self-resilience and self-confidence increase as you establish and move toward your goals.