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.

Goal setting.

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
  • Direction
  • 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
  • Ownership
  • 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
  • Perceptions
  • Background, culture, values etc
  • Ignorance, lack of knowledge
  • Cost – time / other resources
  • Lack of skills
  • Bad past experience
  • Laziness
  • Age – too old, too young
  • Not realistic
  • Compromise – wanting to please others
  • Content with where we are
  • Complacency

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.