Friday, May 8, 2009
What is Coaching
This is not as easy to answer as you may think. Coaching is something that has been around now for a good couple of years, but is only really starting to get traction in the corporate world.A definition is not so easy to find. The Wikipedia definition is ‘a structured process-driven relationship between a trained professional coach and an individual or team which includes: assessment, examining values and motivation, setting measurable goals, defining focused action plans and using validated behavioral change tools and techniques to assist them to develop competencies and remove blocks to achieve valuable and sustainable changes in their professional and personal life.”’ Which sounds a little Icelandic to me. A better definition is ‘to help individuals develop internal and external structures that help them achieve success and to increase their potential by expanding their sense of what is possible”I really like Marc Steinberg’s definition,” is an interactive conversation between the coach and the client to generate shifts in the consciousness of the client leaving the client complete as well as empowered and inspired to make positive life changes.”In a nutshell, coaching is a mechanism you can use to:- Improve your emotional intelligence- Improve your ability to be successful, at work, at home, in a sport, wherever actually- Increases your self confidence- Define clear goals, define how you want your life to look- Take control of your destiny- Improve your relationshipsThe statistics behind coaching are impressive, with executive coaching showing a stunning 526% increase in efficiency. That has a serious impact in the workplace (never mind on the individual).A normal coaching cycle lasts for 12 sessions. Held weekly, each session is between 30 min to 60 minutes and each session focuses on getting results - then and there. Sessions can be done in person but are as effective through skype/ the phone (sometimes even more so).There is no regulation in place (yet) for coaching and a number of different ‘schools’ exist. The industry has however created its own set of standards through the ICF (International Coaching Federation). Members of this institution are committed to a set of standards and ethics that ensure that you as a client get a quality service. My choice when selecting a coaching methodology was based firstly on ICF accreditation and then on a more personal criterion, I wanted something that was more holistic and not soo clinical. I found both in Consciousness Coaching (http://www.cci-coachingacademy.co.za)Consciousness coaching is a little different to other styles of coaching in that it also focuses on improving your own awareness of where you are in your life or what ‘is’. This creates an incredibly powerful context from which you are able to really get stuck into creating the reality you want to live.What do I mean by what ‘is’ ? Most of us (and I was in that category) tend to live in a reality of what we would like things to be, and so totally ignore what is. I learnt the trick of ‘getting real’ with diving and found it enormously useful (you can not break a world record if you do not have a very good understanding of where you are at, otherwise how do you know what your next step really is ?) When we exist in this wishful reality we find it incredibly difficult to move toward what we really want, hence the focus on becoming aware of what is. It simply is what it is and once we know what that is, we can move on.Consciousness coaching also focuses on creating clear goals and then helping you work your way towards them. The fundamental principle behind consciousness coaching is the belief that you as an individual already know the answers and that my job a coach is to help you ‘remember’ them. It is this process that helps you uncover patterns that inhibit you and stop you from moving forward. It is also this process that helps you let go of these and move forward. The tools you learn (and practice) during a coaching cycle become part of who you are, and so you become fully empowered to create success without your coach.Coaching is an incredibly powerful way of changing where you are and where you could be, so, when are you going to give it a try ? When are you going to see what happens if you start to live the life you really want ?