What Is Coaching?

The first impressions or images that pop to mind when you hear the word COACH, are from Hollywood movies of legends, sport heroes and money moghuls that have that trusted coach / advisor on the sidelines. What do these figures typically do? They watch from afar, analyze strengths & limitations, have midnight deep mindful talks, sometimes a kick in the butt (or two), and hold an epic one-liner that you tend to remember for life. Think Coach Carter.

According to historians, the coach was named after the small Hungarian town of Kocs, which made a livelihood from cart building and transport between Vienna and Budapest (source: en.wiktionary.org) – it sort represents that coaching helps a person head towards the direction they want to GO. Coaching provides support to the person in becoming who they want to be, to realize their POTENTIAL, and in that process, self-awareness surfaces to ultimately provide EMPOWERED CHOICES and inevitable CHANGE.

I found it very useful that Mel Leow shared the point of view of coaching in 3 perspectives –

  • In comparison to… e.g. mentoring, counselling, mindfulness
  • In complement to… e.g. training, learning, teaching
  • In construct of… e.g. competences, talent development strategies

Essentially, framing the coaching mode into an operational tool to generate results. That made me to think about the ladder of competences and knowledge in which coaching resides. As coaching is a tool typically, used at the highest level, how can coaching help create that wanted effect, if the coachee is NOT willing to step down the rung on that ladder of unconscious competence or mastery. There must be some form of self-awareness and reflection to create that breakthrough. Through my years as HR, I’ve seen this blocking point so often. It’s not that the coach is not effective, but because the coachee has not had that acceptance, self-awareness and compelling why. No amount of 360 feedback, assessments, etc etc will help to make that discovery.

So then why coaching? Coaching is a partnership between the coachee and coach. Partnership brings forth equal amount of effort, time, responsibility, accountability. The coach is not a miracle worker, without equal commitment from the coachee, there can be no shift. The coach is a facilitator of learning for the coachee. There are many ways here, one set, typical way will not address everyone’s need. The coach helps to raise the inner voice of subconscious, challenge limiting beliefs, dampen negative affirmations, and strengthen the instinctive guide for change through all the different mechanics.

If only everything unravels so easily. We need to be mindful of the baggage that the coachee carries, years of conditioning, inner-child effects, learning styles, mental state. Remember coaching is not just a process of peeling the onion, the coachee is often a complex being with ego, emotion, ambition, desire, filters. So does a coach then provide a compass and a map to show the possibilities and encourage actions? I believe the coach engages and enables the coachee to hold that compass, analyze that map, set-up tent, and saddle-up the horses to cross that mountain called POTENTIAL!

The 7 points raised on what is coaching truly is a reflection of today’s evolution of coaching (plus a little of my own thoughts too…)

  • Self-reflection to create awareness and discovering your BIG WHY.
  • Acceptance of the situation without judgement for that SAFE SPACE of thoughts, emotions and confrontation.
  • Curiosity about everything laid on the table to invoke creativity of solutions and that UNEXPECTED.
  • DESIGNING a fulfilled life through mindful acts, holistic interventions.
  • It’s a WAKE-UP Call for both the coach and the coachee.
  • Unclutter (to bring joy) and UNLOCK that potential to live your BEST LIFE now.
  • Finally, it’s a pathway to the FUTURE you. YOU HAVE TO TAKE THAT FIRST STEP!

My key take-aways from this web-torial are:

  1. The importance of holding to the essence and the definition of coaching when embarking with the coachee.
  2. The dynamics the partnerships between the coach and the coachee, and the critical roles each play.
  3. The shifts of the entire process of coaching that is different from other tools.

#whatiscoaching #coachingessentials #catalystcoach #coachshereenkaur

Published by Shereen Kaur

Coach, Consultant, Wellness Advocate, Artist, Mom

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