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“The client and coach become a team, focusing on the client's goals / needs
and accomplishing more than the client would alone.”
Thomas Leonard, The Father of American Life Coaching at Coach University
What is coaching?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach's responsibility is to: Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve Encourage client self-discovery Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies Hold the client responsible and accountable This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.” In this way, one could say that the Coaching Client is the captain of the ship and the Coach is the lighthouse.
How is coaching different from other professions?
Coaching is NOT CONSULTING:
Coaching is a discovery-based process in which the client creates the solution to the issue at hand. Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is that the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe (and sometimes implement) solutions.
Coaching is NOT COUNSELING :
Coaching is future-focused. For coaching a natural outcome would be actionable strategies for specific goals. Therapy often concentrates on past pain and deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict. The outcome often includes an improved emotional state.
Coaching is NOT MENTORING
A Mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. Coaching does not include direct advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.
What is the coach’s responsibility?
The coach’s responsibility is to guide the client through the thought process that leads to workable solutions. Also to challenge the client to go beyond his comfort zone when necessary for growth and then support him during that “stretch.”
What is my responsibility as the client?
- Take ownership for your coaching experience, ask for what you need, and prepare in advance.
- Follow through on assignments, put in full effort with moving your actions steps and goals forward, maximize your progress, etc.
- Give effective feedback: be clear with needs, give clear feedback with what is working well and what is not, etc.,
- Take advantage of the resource of coaching.
What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?
You feel support would be helpful, Being able to talk to a neutral non-judgmental outsider is invaluable, Create and then learn new techniques to handle stress related to work and/or life, Keep yourself focused / motivated / healthy in mind and body / Upgrade your interpersonal skills / Find out and re-connect with your core values / Handle yourself better in difficult moments at home or at work.
For how long do I need coaching?
It all depends on the issues you bring to coaching, how much time you have to dedicate to the sessions and practicing/repeating the changes to be implemented.
How can the success of the coaching process be measured?
When you are no longer feeling the stress, handling your schedule better, no longer reacting in the same manner. When you have a handle on whatever the reason was you came to coaching.