As a professional Coach, I regularly see people nodding when they ask what I do for a living, they understand “yes, I do that, I coach as a manager, I give my team advice all the time”. Inside I’m screaming “that’s not what a coach does, you are mentoring your team, not coaching!!” I don’t want to be rude, so I say “oh, like mentoring? Coaching is about asking the right questions rather than giving the answers”. The conversation quickly moves on and I’ve lost the moment.
I do have a personal mission to make coaching mainstream for young people. Often senior executives and CEO’s are assigned a coach. Expectations are high so a coach will enhance performance and help create the best version of that person. For some, being assigned a coach carries an acknowledgement that you are being invested in. For some, it’s a secret as they see a coach as being a fixer or a counsellor, they must be doing something wrong, right?
I am here to set the record straight.
Coaching is a conversation with purpose. It is about the here and now and where you want to go.
Imagine the conversation:
“Mummy, I’m sad, I still can’t get to the top of the climbing frame and all my other friends can, I just can’t do it”
Mentor – “I saw you trying, and you keep missing the 3rd rung of the ladder to the platform, you need to get that bit right and you’ll make it. I’ll come and help you up”.
Counsellor – “Does this have anything to do with the time you fell off the climbing frame and your friends laughed at you?”
Coach – “Why do you think you can’t do it, what could you try differently next time?”
Now, this is a simplistic example purely to help illustrate the point. You have to decide what help you need first, all of these methods and many more have a place, not one is better than another.
In any home, school, organisation there is a time for telling. When a major incident is happening in A&E there is no time for questions “What is the best course of action here?”, someone is charged with getting patients where they need to be fast, they have the answer. The questions are likely to come in review, “what could have worked better today, what went well, what went less well?”
We don’t do our children’s homework for them, we let our teenagers make (some) of their own mistakes. Why? Because it’s the best way for them to grow and learn. We build a self-awareness and a resilience by trying it out for ourselves. Coaching is ultimately helping you figure it out for yourself in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental way.
Some typical coaching topics:
|To perform better at work||Expanded career opportunities||Higher self-esteem|
|More confidence in myself||A clearer understanding of my strengths and weaknessess||New strategies for managing my business|
|Better work/life balance||To maximise my potential|
This handy quiz helps to define what sort of help you need:
Feeling Stuck – Please click to download.
Get in touch if you think Coaching could shine a light on your future – firstname.lastname@example.org