You may have heard of life coaching on social media or on television or from friends, but didn’t really know what it was, or indeed when you would need it, or what it can do for you.
You might think it sounds a bit airy-fairy, woo-woo or navel-gazingly-self-absorbed.
Not so, it’s actually super-practical and focused.
The official definition of coaching from the ICF (International Coach Federation) is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
So, what does that mean? Let’s take it bit by bit.
Partnering. Coaching is a relationship of equals. The Coach is not, or cannot be, an expert in YOUR life. You are the expert in your own life and one of coaching’s fundamental beliefs is that the client is “resourceful and whole” and has the capabilities to make the decisions that best suit his or her life. The coach is a partner in this, a cheerleader, a sounding board. The coach is not an expert “on high” who will deliver advice on what you should do. You take responsibility for your own decisions. It’s your life after all. The coach helps you get there and brings clarity (amongst other things).
Thought-provoking and creative. Here’s the real beauty. Coaching is forward-looking and action based. If you come to coaching, expect to be challenged, expect some new thinking, expect to see some things in a different way and be prepared to take action and be held accountable. This is quite simply a relationship you don’t get anywhere else, and it’s totally focused on you.
Process. It is a process, it has a beginning, middle and end. But you, as the client, call the shots. You decide on your agenda or what you want to achieve from the coaching, and the coach will keep you focused on this (sometimes this can change so what you thought you wanted sometimes isn’t what you actually wanted and coaching is great at putting this to the test).
Inspires you to maximise your potential (personal and professional). Wow! Where else do you get this? You may feel like you get this in other relationships (and you may, if you’re lucky) but the coach has no other agenda but yours. It’s the coach’s job to help you maximise your potential. Again, here is the forward-looking, action-taking, power-packing, get-up-and-go-ness of coaching.
It’s all about maximising YOUR potential.
The coach has full faith in you and together (partnering) you will formulate a plan for you to reach your potential in whatever area or agenda you choose to work on.
For the full benefits of the coaching relationship to be borne out, it is best to have an ongoing relationship with your coach. That way you can be accountable for the actions you agree to take, and the plan can be re-adjusted if something gets in the way.
Generally, I would recommend 4 sessions for maximum benefit, but sometimes 2 can be beneficial too if you are dealing with a specific point or have a particular decision to make.
If this sounds like something that would interest you, if you have an open mind and the willingness to engage in a process to help you reach your potential, whether personally or professionally, why not book in for a free 15 minute discovery call to find out more.
Or have a look at my previous blog, “What reasons are there to seek coaching?” for a few examples of what coaching can do for you.