Developed in America in 1988, Coaching is one of the “newer” personal interventions. The founder, Thomas Leonard, found that after working with clients on a specific issue, they often wanted to continue the relationship to work on more issues in their lives. To this end he began to draft and compile a set of ideas and techniques that eventually became the emerging profession known today as Coaching (Life / Business / Sports Coaching).
Coaching is a designed alliance between the client and the coach with the dedicated aim of the client achieving fulfilment and Balance in every aspect of his / her life.
Coaching should not be viewed as therapy, but more as a means of working with the client to get them from where they are to where they want to be.
Essentially anyone can benefit from some sessions of Coaching, be it an individual or a department / organisation.
However, a good example might be someone who has finally got the promotion they always wanted, but finds that they are still unfulfilled, or perhaps someone who is simply unhappy with what they are doing and is seeking to work with a coach to understand why.
Often clients consult because they have a sense of a lack of balance in their lives, or that they are not reaching their goals – the latter could be in Sports, in Family, in the Work environment etc.
Often such people would have difficulty in talking to their own manager about how they feel, so talking to a coach who has no stake in the organisation offers a useful means of working through the block.
Initially, coaching would require a face-to-face meeting, but thereafter can be carried out via phone if that suits the client better.
· Why does it work?
Imagine a relationship where the total focus is on you, on what you want in your life, and on what will help you achieve it. The coaching relationship is like having your own personal navigator for the journey through your life: someone who will help you find your way and stay on course.
Imagine someone listening, not only to your words, but also to what’s behind them – who even listens to the spaces between the words.
Imagine someone who will hold you accountable in a non-judgemental way, and keep you moving forward towards your goals.
This is a relationship with someone who is totally curious about your dreams, goals and aspirations, what makes you tick, what you truly value, what you are most passionate about in your life – a person who will help you clarify your goals and provide you with the tools for action and learning that lead you to the results that you want.
The coach can sometimes be seen to be even more committed to what you want in your life then you are.
The relationship is about truth, openness, non-judgement, motivation, action & learning, all leading to balance and goal achievement.
· Coaching vs. Therapy
In its most basic sense, a person comes to the therapy relationship to resolve an issue that is impacting their well-being in a fundamental way. Thus, Depression, Insomnia and Anger fit well into this category. Therapy seeks to find and remove the root cause of the issue.
Coaching on the other hand tends to be sought when there is no specific presenting symptom – it is more that the client seeks to improve an aspect of their life.
Coaching works to steer the client to the clarification they need to make this change. It assumes that the client already has everything that they need to achieve full success – the coaching relationship is designed around each individual client to use these resources in the most proactive and productive way.
· The Coaching Process
In the first instance the Coach and Client will meet for a face-to-face consultation. During this meeting all of the parameters surrounding the clients wants and goals will be investigated and clarified.
Confusion, conflicts and fears will be identified and an initial path forward will be drafted.
Values and Goals will be explored.
The logistics of the relationship moving forward will be agreed i.e. the frequency, the duration, face to face or phone coaching, the costs etc.
The style and methods to be employed will also be outlined.
Following this, a path forward is agreed. Progress is carefully measured after each session, and the process continues until the initial goals are achieved to the client’s satisfaction.
During the process a wide range of techniques will be utilised to move the client from the current position to the desired position
All of the above relates to individual as well as group coaching.