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What is Coaching?

In 1974, Harvard educationalist and tennis expert Timothy Gallwey first published his simple Inner Game equation which effectively summarizes the objective of coaching:

Performance = potential – interference

P = p – i

Coaching is a process that focuses on assisting individuals, teams, and organisations in improving their behaviour, cognition, actions, decision-making, and overall efficiency. A coach assists a coachee in making a change, acquiring new skills, or achieving goals. This is accomplished through conversation, which can occur in person, over the phone, or online.

The ultimate goal is to assist the coachee in making progress in a particular area of their life, at work, or in overcoming a problem. Here, we’ll look at how coaching works, how it differs from other approaches, and what you should do next if you’re ready to begin your coaching journey.

How Coaching Works?

A fundamental belief that underpins coaching is that we already possess the answers we seek. A coach’s role is to assist the coachee in obtaining these responses. This is accomplished through a variety of conversational techniques, including interrogation, active listening, observation, and reflection.

When these techniques are used, the coachee gains increased self-awareness and frequently a new insight. Having a non-judgmental, non-biased person available to provide focused attention enables the coachee to comprehend how to proceed.

Some coaches will employ NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) techniques, while others will incorporate tools such as journaling and meditation into their work. Numerous models, such as the GROW model, can be used in coaching, and some coaches will take a more fluid/intuitive approach.

To ensure progress, coaching frequently focuses on goal setting. Coachees are frequently encouraged to create a list of action points following a session so they are aware of the next steps necessary to continue moving forward. As a general rule, coaches have broader knowledge that is applicable across different sectors and can therefore coach people effectively in very different businesses.

It maximises an individual’s potential for performance. Rather than teaching them, coaching enables them to learn.

Historically, coaching has been associated with sports. Each professional athlete has a coach. Coaching has become applicable in every area, in business and in every aspect of life, in addition to sport, over the last few years.

It is now quite common for someone to consult a coach to assist them in achieving their personal and professional goals.

Coaching is a collaborative effort between the coach and the client.

The coach assists the client in attaining their personal best and achieving the desired results in both their personal and professional lives. Coaching enables the client to perform at their optimal level, learn and develop in the manner in which they desire.

The coach does not need to be an expert in their clients’ line of business.

What Coaching is NOT?

It is quite common to mix coaching with other forms of consulting like mentoring, counseling and therapy. Before we further talk about it in coming blogs, let us know what each individual term means.

1. Mentoring

Mentoring occurs when a senior colleague who is perceived to be more knowledgeable and wise in the world offers advice and serves as a role model. Mentoring entails extensive discussions that are not necessarily related to the work environment. A mentor is a sponsor who possesses extensive professional experience in the field of work in which their client works. Both mentoring and coaching are primarily concerned with current and future accomplishments.

2. Counseling

Counseling is the process of assisting a client who is experiencing discomfort or dissatisfaction with their life. They are seeking direction and counsel. A counsellor works to resolve a client’s issue.

3. Therapy

The term “therapy” refers to the process of working with a client who is seeking relief from psychological or physical symptoms. The client desires emotional healing and mental pain relief. The client’s mental health is addressed during therapy. Coaching is concerned with the client’s mental development. The primary reason a client enters therapy or counselling is to alleviate pain or discomfort, rather than to progress toward desired goals. Coaching is not a curative process; it is a generative one. Both therapy and counselling are more likely than coaching to involve an examination of and work with past experiences.

4. Training

Training is the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, and abilities through study, experience, or instruction. By definition, the trainer is an expert, and the training course is likely to focus on specific skills that will yield immediate results. Additionally, training is more likely to be one-to-many than one-to-one.

5. Consultancy

A consultant provides expertise and helps businesses solve problems or grow as a whole. A consultant works with the organisation as a whole or with specific parts of it, not with individuals within it. Individuals are only indirectly impacted by consultants.

6. Teaching

Teaching is the process by which knowledge is transferred from teacher to student. The teacher is privy to information that the student is unaware of. In coaching, the reverse is true. The client is the expert, and the client, not the coach, has the answers.

Now we hope the basics are clear and profound. Stay tuned as next week we will come with another chapter of Coaching. Remember these.