“Coaching is a partnership that enables people to make sustainable changes in their lives and achieve goals by creating their own solutions and using their own resources”
Essentially Coaching looks at where an individual wants to be in the future, where they are now and how they will progress to achieve their goals. It also focuses on developing the self confidence and motivation within each individual to make this happen. The idea being that the coach will help the coachee create solutions and options for themselves (as opposed to being told what to do) – in doing so it is far more likely that the coachee will be motivated to achieve these goals and carry on putting effort into making progress towards these goals well beyond the coaching itself. It is therefore a very forward-looking, optimistic and positive process that empowers the coachee.
How Does Coaching Differ to Other Forms of Support
Advisors / Consultants : offer solutions
Mentors : provide experience and know-how of a particular area / task or issue
Counsellors : offer time for reflection, guidance and direction
Confidante : will listen and hold information in confidence
Therapists : help overcome obstacles that have held you back in the past
Friends : share your life with you
Managers : ensures goals are achieved in the time allocated and with resources provided
Coaches : offer questions and structured techniques and strategies to elicit an individual’s own solutions and resources to enable them to achieve their goals
These distinctions are not the only ones – there are more! In our roles supporting the positive development of others, we often find that we have to be a number of the above at any one time ! It is very useful to understand when it is appropriate to be one or the other and consider our ability or qualifications to be one or the other. For example in certain situations it may be most appropriate to be a confidante (e.g. when someone has experienced a difficult personal situation) and other times you need to be a coach (e.g. to encourage action or develop motivation / confidence).
This is often referred to as ‘wearing different hats’. Knowing which hat to wear and when is key.