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Why Coaching

Coaching is a unique endeavour. Coaches partner with clients in a transformative process that empowers and inspires them to reach their maximum potential. The coaching process is about moving forward, working with the client to stretch and reach goals he or she desires. The coach provides a stable reference while supporting the client in his or her journey from place A to B. Fundamentally, it is about facilitating a change or transformation within the Client.

What is Coaching

Coaching is frequently used to assist individuals as they prepare for or move into new assignments, improve work habits, adapt to a changing environment or overcome specific obstacles.  Coaching is often confused with other personal or organizational support modalities, such as mentoring, consulting and psychotherapy. In a mentoring relationship, an expert provides advice and counsel based on his or her wisdom or experience. A consultant gives advice (usually of a business or technical nature), diagnoses problems and designs solutions. Psychotherapy involves healing pain, dysfunction and conflict, often with a focus on resolving past difficulties or healing old wounds.  

Presence, Communication and Questioning

When a coach is present with the client, his or her focus will remain solely on the task at hand, looking the client in the eye and remaining open to whatever arrives in the sessions. A coach must be adaptable in order to respond most appropriately and with whatever will be most helpful to the client at that moment. An effective coach is confident in his or her abilities and can convey that confidence in a humble and assuring manner. Communication is at the heart of the coaching relationship, whether it be communicated through words, body language or intonation. An effective coach uses all of these elements to convey a genuine interest in partnering with the client to facilitate growth. Active listening skills and inquisitive inquiry are valued elements of a successful coaching engagement. Questions that reveal beneficial information to the coach and the client are powerful tools in the coaching process. 

Goals and Growth

Goals that stretch the client are powerful motivators. Easy to-reach goals are not helpful because the client will readily vault low hurdles. On the other end of the spectrum, goals that are unobtainable will lead to frustration and resignation and may affect the way coaching is perceived by the client and the organization. Deep and open discussions will facilitate the creation of goals that promote growth within the client and provide the greatest value for all parties involved.  It is important for the goals to be generated by the client.

A proficient coach will support the client in developing meaningful, succinct goals. Many clients find so-called SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable or achievable, Realistic or Relevant, and Timebound) goals useful whereas others find the G.R.O.W. ( Goal, Current Reality, Options (or Obstacles), Will (or Way Forward) model useful as this framework allows leeway for creativity and exploration. 

 

Action

Without action, coaching may be viewed as a series of nice, deep conversations. Supporting the client in developing an action and accountability plan will greatly enhance the chance of long-term success and value. As actions are completed, they build a sense of accomplishment in the client that can lead to a willingness to take on and achieve more difficult goals. In addition, as actions are carried out, new ideas and values are sometimes uncovered that bring further insight into issues relevant to the coaching engagement.  

 

Training and Credentials

Coaches can obtain training through many channels. Each type of training comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. In order to take advantage of coaching expertise, many organizations contract with coaches or coach-training programs to assist with curriculum development and/or delivery.  Third-party accredited training programs such as those accredited by APC, NLP, ICF and EMCC are beneficial because the developers are steeped in the competencies required for effective coaching and are held to a standard necessary to ensure the coaches will be well prepared.

Accredited training also prepares coaches to pursue credentials, should they desire to do so. 

 

Note:

Always ask the coach you are looking to engage with about his or her credentials and or accreditation(s).

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