“Everyone needs a coach. We all need people that give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” –Bill Gates
Successful people don’t leave their progress to chance, they seek support and work continually to improve personally and professionally. A coach is a professional who supports you in the journey of your personal growth and create a life of your vision. Having a coach is like having a two-person team committed to your vision.
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All About Coaching
What is coaching?
In the mid 16thcentury, the word “Coach” described a horse-drawn carriage to take people from where they were to where they wanted to be. In early 19thcentury, locomotive driven carriages were also called coaches, and their purpose was the same: to take people to where they wanted to go. Around the same time, “Coach” was first used as slang at Oxford University for a tutor who “carries” a student through an exam. So, put simply, “Coach” means a partner that helps you get there where you want to be and coaching is a creative and thought provoking process in which a coach partners with you and helps you reach where you want to be in your personal or professional life.
In other words, coaching is helping you realize your untapped potential and unlock it to maximize your performance to achieve your greatest personal or professional goals and build a meaningful, fulfilled life that you desire.
Coaching is a truly transformational journey where your coach partners with you in, building awareness of your true-selves, discovering and moving beyond the limiting beliefs and perceptions that come in the way of your growth, keeping you accountable to take action week by week and achieve your desired goals and success.
How does this happen?
It might sound strange that a coach is a partner in this journey and not an expert. “Coaching” is often confused with mentoring or consulting which is giving you expert advice or solutions whereas coaching is not about giving you solutions but enabling you to find your own solutions.
Coaching uses a powerful conversational methodology where time bound, focused conversations with your coach, will reveal how you view things, what is important to you, what inspires you, what beliefs, perceptions or patterns are limiting you and may be blocking your growth. Coaching will help you to see and think through things in a clearer and more balanced way.
Coaching is positive and forward focused. Coaching will bring you clarityon what you want, why you want it and how you can get it. Coach will support you in reaching where you want to be from where you are now and help you reach there faster through effective strategy planning and focused action.
What are the issues for whichone can seek coaching?
Coaching can be sought for addressing challenges one is facing or goals one wants to accomplish. People seek coaching for being stuck in some area of their life- stuck in a job one doesn’t like, stuck in an unsatisfying relationship, stuck in a life that lacks meaning and purpose or for goals like more self-confidence, weight management, work-life balance, starting ownbusiness- these goals can be just about anything.People from every possible age, background, and occupation seek coaching.
How Does Coaching Work?
Ok, now you know that coaching uses the powerful conversational methodology, your coach will question you in a way that is deep and thought provoking. Talking to your coach in this time bound and focused waywill make you see and think through things in a clearer and more balanced way. And that will enable you and your coach to designeffective strategies and action plan to help you achieve your goals.
Let’s see how coaching really works, what a coaching session is like?
Coaching process typically consists of a series of one-on-one sessions between you and your coach over a period of 3-12 months and usually each session lasts for about 45-60 minutes. Frequency of these one to one sessions can be weekly, once in two weeks, once in three weeks or monthly -depending on the requirementwhich will be discussed and agreedupon between you and your coach prior to start of coaching engagement.
In the initial one or two sessions, your coach will establish the goals that you hope to achieve through coaching engagement, in case you are not sure of the goals you want to work on, coach will help you decipher what truly matters to you. Combined with powerful questioning, active listening skills and suitable assessments, coachwill putspotlight on the areas of your life that need work, core issues that need to be addressed. In nutshell, the primary goal of initial sessions is to develop absolute clarity about what you want to achieve, and then help you design a personalized plan to achieve it.
After establishing your main goals for coaching, your coach will assess the gap between where you are now to where you want to be and support you in designing an effective strategy to bridge the gap.
At the end of each session, you will be asked to commit to completesome tasks before the next session. These tasks are SMART actions which you and your coach would have identified during the session as key tasksyou need to do to reach your goal.By committing to your coach, you’re not only focused on the SMART actionsbut you’ll also be accountable to follow-through.
How to select Coach?
Now you know about what coaching is and how it works,you might be thinking – how do you select a coach, how to decide which coach is the right one for you?It can be really overwhelming, given the pace at which coaching industry is expanding and new coaches are joining in every day.
The key points you must consider while researching and selecting a coach are:
Training & Certifications:
Coaching is based on scientific research and professionally trained coaches utilize evidence-based coaching models in their work. In order to learn these models,techniques and tools, coachesundergo in-depth training and after completing their training, coaches invest hundreds of hours practicing these tools and techniques under guidance and supervision to get their certifications and accreditations. Checking on a coach’s certifications and accreditationswill ensure a coach who will be using proven effective methodologies in the process and will be able to help you achieve your goals.(You can check about accreditation bodies in next section.)
Experience & Specialization:
Next important point to consider is overall coaching experience and specialization. You may like to look for how long one has been actively coaching, who have been their clients, are there reviewsor testimonials available for their coaching process? You may also like to consider a coach who is specialized in the area in which you want to work on, for example if you want to work on career progression, you will look for an executive coach but if you want to work on improving your personal relationships you will perhaps look for a life coach.
Synergy & Connection
This one is a crucial checkpoint, how safe and comfortable you feel with the coach? Do you feel at ease with them? Can you open up to them? Can you share personal details with them? Coaching provides an opportunity for you toexplore, discover and grow, but this is only possible if you feel you are in a safe and judgment-free environment. If you don’t feel comfortable exploring the difficult areas, digging deeper with your coach, chances are they won’t be able to support you in journey of growth, become all that you can be and reach where you want to be.
An initial conversation before on-boarding the coach is a good way to determine ifit’s a good fit.
Here, we would like to introduce you to some of the specialized coaching niches which mean that coaches often specialize in a particular area basis their own specific expertise and skill-set. Professional coaches may have additional skills from previous careers and education. For example, a certified coach who hasheld corporate leadership positions and has a degree in business in addition, is very likely to make executive and leadership coaching as their niche.
Let’s see some common coaching niches
Life coaching focuses on an individual and take him/her on a journey of introspection that ends in action planning to solve the different issues that one is facing and move forward in life. For example, if one wants to work on creating a better balance between their work and personal life. The life coaching journey will take them deep into understanding why there is no balance in their life in first place, the individual’s priorities and what steps can be taken to restore the much-needed balance in their life.
Career coaching is focused on helping people to work through the issues that they face in their careers. For example, young graduates often have a hard time selecting a career direction as they enter the workforce. Career coaching can be utilized to support these individuals to explore what motivates them, their skillsets and other factors which can clarify the best career direction for them. People who have been in the workforce for years may also require career coaching at different points in their lives. For example, if a person feels dissatisfied with their career and wants to switch to another career, he/she can think through the decision and select a career that is a good fit based on their unique attributes with the support of a career coach. Career coaching can also be utilised for progression in the chosen careers by identifying what skills are needed to take the next step up the corporate ladder, and which placements are best suited to helping one to attain his or her career goals.
Executive coaching refers to the coaching tailored to address the specific needs of managers and top leaders in an organization. For example, executive coaching can help supervisors to gain the skills to manage their teams better and attain departmental goals faster. Executive coaching can also take the form of leadership coaching if this coaching is used as a way to on-board new management hires so that they can be prepared to perform the leadership roles which they have just been assigned.
Starting a new business or want to take your current business to next level?Business coaching can help one build a new business from the ground up, setting up the business, defining its mission and goals, and putting in place both long-term and short-term strategies for the business. Likewise, business coaching canalso be used bya business owner who has hit a plateau and want to figure out how to take the business to the next level.
Relationship coaching is about creating more successful relationships in one’s life. “Relationships” come in many forms, It could be a relationship with parents, friends, family, it could be issues with partner- a relationship coach helps & guides through these storms and help one embark on a land where one can find more meaningful and powerful relationships. Relationship coaches can work one-on-one or in conjunction with both partners. The related sub field is dating coaching aimed at helping one attract a partner into their life. Dating coacheswork at overcoming shyness, approaching people with confidenceetc.
Coaching Accreditation Bodies
Here are four most referenced governing bodies that establish a standard of education, training, and ethics among coaches.
International Coach Federation (ICF)
The ICF is the leading and globally renowned organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession. It sets high standards, provides independent certification, and builds a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.
The ICF has three levels of individual accreditation
• ACC (Associate Certified Coach)
• PCC (Professional Certified Coach)
• MCC (Master Certified Coach)
The International Association of Coaching (IAC)
The IAC seeks to provide a highly accountable professional development model for aspiring and experienced coaches, as well as professionals in other fields, so their mastery of coaching is valued and contributes to evolving human potential worldwide. The IAC has two levels of individual accreditation:
• Certified Masteries Coach CMC (IAC)
• IAC® Master Masteries Coach (MMC)
European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)
The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) exists to promote good practice and the expectation of good practice in mentoring and coaching across Europe. It is a not-for-profit organization. The EMCC has four levels of individual accreditation:
• Senior Practitioner
• Master Practitioner
Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE)
The CCE is a not-for-profit organization that advances professional excellence in practitioners and organizations with assessments, business support services and credentialing. For the coaching field, the CCE currently has only one certification:
• Board Certified Coach (BCC)
Difference between Coaching and Therapy
The biggest difference in coaching and counselling is the difference in approaches. Coaches focus on creating a new life path to achieve certain goals. They help you introspect and help you find your solutions. They focus on the now and what next Whereas counselors focus on specific problems in hand and look into emotional resolutions to past problems to move forward, finding solutions to those specific problems, while making ‘healing’ as one of the main objectives. One must be aware of the many areas of overlap between these above methods of seeking help.
You seek a life coach when you are surrounded with stress, feel stuck in life with a problem or an issue, not knowing how to handle it and feel frustrated in life, you have low self-confidence, you need motivation, you need to be a better version of yourself and need that push, you need help to reflect your next step, you are unhappy and unsatisfied in your job and maybe want to change your job or your profession, you are feeling low, you have a relationship issues, you want a better work-life balance, you want to improve your health but don’t know the next step and you need someone to handhold you, you procrastinate and waste time and need help in planning and organizing your life better.
Coaches focus on introspection and are action-oriented when it comes to resolving the issue. They believe in giving the clients problem-solving skills rather than specific solutions to a problem. It helps the client handle and successfully adapt to any other situation and stress the client may face in the future. They work with you to identify the problem, set goals to resolve the problems and create a path to achieve the goals.
Some situations which can help by going to a counselor are when you have addiction issues like smoking, alcohol, substance abuse, eating disorders like excessive eating or anorexia, physical or verbal abusive behavior, any phobias like fear of water or crowded places, feeling frustrated with others, suffered a traumatic experience, maybe a bereavement, or sometimes you are just feeling demotivated. Counselors encourage their clients to talk about their problems and help them cope with the problems that they are facing by finding solutions to those problems. They take you to your past, delve in the emotional turmoil, looking for links and solutions to your issues. Healing forms a big part of finding solutions. They also work with other coping mechanisms like communication skills, group support, and therapy to get better solutions for the problems at hand. This enables clients to either reduce or tolerate the stress or conflict in their lives. Broadly there are two types of coping mechanisms: active and avoidant. Counselors also guide clients on using adaptive coping mechanisms such as support, relaxation, physical activity or humour.
Coaching Helps You Take Action and Counselling Enables You to Cope
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