What is coaching?
How about these four different ways of looking at coaching for a starter?
- Asking questions … a coach helps their client to clarify and refine their goals … until they have the confidence to achieve them.
- Empowering others to be the best they can be.
- Taking a client from potential to performance.
- Gap analysis.
Some basic principles of coaching.
Coaching is straight forward if you remember:
- Coaching is about the client’s world. It is about their life, their choices etc. There should be, therefore, no advice, guidance, leading questions etc. A coaching session is 100% about the client. It is nothing to do with me.
- Coaches should have no judgements – the client makes the decision.
- I stop listening when I start thinking about the answers / giving advice. At that point I am just hearing. Beware – we are programmed to give advice!
- In essence a coaching session is a structured conversation. It is about what the client could do (not should do). It is about choices, consequences and empowered decisions.
- A coach can only work with what he knows. So ask questions that provoke the client’s thinking – tell me about, define etc.
- Use body language as well as just listening to see where the client really is
- It is OK to offer feedback, but try to call it something else.
- There has to be a goal or outcome every session.
- A coach asks questions to clarify, explore, understand …
- Coaching is about change / the future.
Setting goals is a key outcome of coaching.
- Remember, goals can change so keep checking them!
- The number one reason why people do not set goals is because they do not know what they want.
- Most people focus on what they do not want.
Benefits of goal setting
- Empowering yourself
- Measure success – How will you know? – How do you measure, say, self confidence? – What would it look like? – Where are you now, and where do you want to be?
- More efficient and effective
- Sense of achievement (when achieved)
- Self awareness / energy / motivation
- Makes things real
- Commitment to change
- Gives a timeframe
- Clarifies purpose
- Helps you realise what you do not want
- Raises self esteem
- Makes you free
What stops us from setting goals?
- Self limiting beliefs
- Fear of failure / success / change etc
- Not knowing what we want
- Background, culture, values etc
- Ignorance, lack of knowledge
- Cost – time / other resources
- Lack of skills
- Bad past experience
- Age – too old, too young
- Not realistic
- Compromise – wanting to please others
- Content with where we are
The truth is that we are often so focussed on what we are doing that we lose sight of where we are going – anon.
Next blog in the Coaching series – The GROW model.