Updated: Jul 4
General : At the outset to mention ,I felt the need for more awareness and knowledge required to be disseminated about coaching to the environment. I experienced the need for greater understanding of the concept especially in India. This article will hence assist employees , executives, leaders ,businesses and organizations in understanding their requirement and approach to coaching. I thought it would be prudent to divide the article into five parts for better understanding and assimilation by breaking it into parts.
Part I focusses on approaching the right coach . The balance process will be covered in a subsequent articles as under :-
Part II : Contracting and goal setting .
Part III : Coaching Sessions to Completion.
Part IV : Team Coaching Approach.
Part V : Business Coaching .
I am not clarifying the difference between Coaching ,Mentoring, Training ,Counselling and Therapy as It has been adequately covered under various articles in various social forums. This article focusses on how one needs to take up coaching as a choice for self development & growth and as an organization tool. I will lay focus on how best could one benefit from coaching and the best ways we could make the partnership productive.
Coaching Definition: ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership. We all have goals we want to reach, challenges we’re striving to overcome and times when we feel stuck. Partnering with a coach can change your life, setting you on a path to greater personal and professional fulfillment. ( courtesy: https://coachingfederation.org/about)
I interpret that: Coaching is a partnership and a safe space for endless opportunities and wisdom.
Selection of a coach :
Coaches Niche or Specialize with what they are comfortable or experienced. Example a health and wellness coach is also an expert on the subject to a good extent. A wealth coach has a flair to the subject in finances and so on.
Classically coaching does not require one to specialize in a subject. This is a common belief
and a misconstrued concept .Some common questions by clients , which are a byproduct of this mindset are :-
How many years of experience you have in legal matters?
Have you been coaching leaders ?
Do you have experience in running a business?
A specialist coach : A client can benefit from a coach who has a Niche skill by way of mixing the mentoring piece. Subject matter experience- expertise also throws a structure around questions a coach may ask you. This can be beneficial or counterproductive since It will have a piece of the coach in its very soul. However specialized coaches have the advantage of changing the mentoring hats and could switch on to mentoring .This could prove valuable to people who like to be mentored along with coaching. A specialist coach with excellent self regulation can also take a neutral course of action un- biased and execute pure coaching sessions.
An experienced coach: A non specialized coach still can give same or better results with just powerful questioning. Some advantages are the non judgmental and fresh perspectives the experienced coach will bring in. Questions could be intuitive with the sheer experience of life and processes encountered by the coach . Though intuitive the questions from an experienced coach could have a piece of experience in the conversations. A self regulated coach can however balance this noise during the coaching sessions and regulate it and lead into unbiased coaching performance.
A new coach: A new coach could bring you fresh perspective and copybook process .A new coach can also surprise you with the ingenuity and innocence's which is required for divergent and out of box thinking. A new coach could give best results under right circumstances.
So the Inference now is : What type of coach is not important , Its more important whether you require to be mentored , coached, or trained etc. We could know the services and the need before we carry out dissection on the type of coach required.
The concept of life coaching has now diversified under various specialties which are pure names under the same concept and umbrella.
Coaching has common template duly modified by the coaches as per their skill and creativity. Some basic pre requisites are :-
Climate of trust
Vulnerability in partnership
Working on numerous possibilities.
ICF core competencies for an ICF coach.
The above process does not require any experience nor domain knowledge. Sometimes the aha moments are arrived with some powerful questions alone. This requires a good coaching expertise and talent in the process. Not withstanding this a Coach's coaching abilities are nurtured from the life he or she lives.
Coaching aggregators : There are many coach directories which the clients can search on the internet. These directories match coach and the client. You could check the coach credential and qualifications ,experience in the dashboards available with these aggregators /portals. You could get an experience session with the coach before you commit. Its better to be upfront with the coach and also with the client ( by the coach) , and maintain transparent communication on the requirement in the first session or discovery session. This will save many a valuable man hours for for the coach and the client. However sometimes a flexible approach of waiting for response and reactions may be required before the contract of partnership is established. I shall cover about the contract in the next article soon.
Ultimately taking up coaching should be a choice and need .The need alone drives commitment and ensures long term success and productivity and visible growth .
Disclaimer: The above thoughts are purely based on, my knowledge and experience only and will vary with various models and approaches to coaching.