THE WHAT AND WHY OF COACHING
Prior to engaging with a Coach – or even as the process of coaching commences – individuals and organizations are often not clear on what they are contracting for. If you’ve had no previous experience with a coach you will most likely wonder what it is, what a coaching process looks like, and what kind of results you should expect.
To start, there are many definitions of coaching that could be offered. Please consider the following:
Coaching is a focused and intense commitment by a coach and one or more individuals that work together to discover, explore and fully realize a potential not previously dreamed of or imagined before.
First and foremost then, coaching is delivered in a process of conversation. The agenda is primarily set by the individual being coached. If coaching is being supported by an organization there may be mutual goal setting between employer and individual leader, but ultimately the intent is to support achievement of individually established objectives. Objectives may be long-term in nature (e.g., goals to be achieved over the course of a year) or may shift from session to session.
Second, with an agenda driven by you the client, a coach is entirely committed and focused on
- helping you define and establish your stretch goals,
- support the work required by you, to attain those goals, and
- to critically evaluate both real and perceived barriers to higher success.
Third, success in the coaching engagement and in achieving desired goals is directly proportional to the commitment of the individual being coached. The coaching relationship is a true partnership, but the coach acts only in service of his client, and can only move at the pace that works best for you.
Finally, effective coaching cannot be delivered without establishing a trust-based relationship between coach and client. Clients are assured of absolute confidentiality in their engagement. Only in this way can the client feel completely at ease and confident in exploring all aspects of the issues, opportunities and challenges they would like to work on. It is only in this way that the coach resource can be maximized.
Reasons that an organization or an individual might engage a coach:
- Taking your business or entrepreneurial venture to the next level;
- Personal growth and development;
- Expanding and developing leadership competencies;
- Adjunct to training or professional development;
- Meeting specific business or organizational objectives;
- Transition to the next level of leadership;
- Support individual career planning;
- Strike a work/life balance that works for you.