A Beginners Guide to Coaching Experience.
Coaching is one of the professional fields of the 21st century that is still largely unregulated and confusing to most clients. The International Coaching Federation has made significant effort to set and maintain very high standards for professional coaches, but the fact remains that anyone can call themselves a coach, often without even completing a few hours of training. And it doesn’t help matters that there are many types of coaching adding to already significant confusion of the clients. , Because this week we are celebrating the ICF Coaching Week, I’d like to explain my profession to you and hopefully help you decide if coaching could help you on your professional journey.
What Is Coaching?
Let’s start with the basics: “Coaching is a life-changing experience that mobilizes clients’ creativity, values and inner resources and empowers them to maximize their personal and professional potential. It is client-driven, and it focuses on setting stretching goals, creating clear outcomes and managing personal transformation.”
Coaching is for people who want things to be different.
They may want more from life: more peace of mind, more security, more confidence, more impact in their work, better health, more financial stability, more freedom, more happiness.
Or they may want less: less stress, less confusion, less fear, less financial pressure, less worry, less resistance, less self-criticism, less conflict, less struggle.
Coaching is not:
Therapy: In coaching, a client is an emotionally and psychologically healthy person. In therapy, the client is emotionally unwell and needs healing. Therapy looks back and focuses on examining the past to understand how the client got to where they are now.
Coaching looks forward and concentrates on where the clients are right now, where they would like to be in the future, and how they can get there.
Consulting: Coaching elicits answers from the client and consulting tells the client what to do. A coach will offer the tools and resources, honest feedback, encouragement and accountability, but will not offer solutions.
Mentoring: A mentor is generally an older, more experienced person who supports a younger person in their growth, especially career development. A mentor will provide access to resources and networks or can offer practical tips on how to solve a particular problem based on their own wisdom and experience. The mentoring relationship is informal, and the mentor usually does not receive payment for mentoring.
The Many Types of Coaching:
Transformational Coaching (aka Life Coaching)
A coach assists a client in self-discovery, helps raise awareness of strengths and weaknesses and supports a client in finding their own ways and resources to address issues. Here, the client is the driving force. This type of coaching is best for people who have issues which they can’t solve themselves, who want to grow within their roles but don’t know how, or they are stuck and can’t see a way out. The ultimate goal is for the coachee to achieve a transformation.
Examples of coaching topics:
- Work- life balance and burnout prevention
- Fulfilled life & purposeful career
- Relationship management in career and life
- Mental well-being at work
- Career transition or opening or scaling own business
Skills Development Coaching
In this form of coaching, a coach is an expert in a certain area and has the roles of a trainer and a coach.
(S)he offers new techniques and ways to do things better and helps the coachee to practice them to the best level of skill possible. The coaching part focuses on removing limiting beliefs blocking the successful performance to create a lasting, meaningful change. This coaching is for people who want to grow quickly and need solutions for practical problems, and for people who want to skill up fast and deep.
Examples of coaching topics:
- Executive presence (building gravitas, communication skills, confidence, authority, assertive communication, charisma etc.)
- Soft skills (e.g. EQ, collaboration, adaptability, resilience, relationship building and management, etc.)
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Cultural competence and adaptation
- Conflict prevention and management
If there is an established need to correct or resolve problematic behaviors or poor performance issues, a coaching intervention might help. In this context, coaching addresses the behavioral patterns and mindsets which generate problems in the clients’ performance and negatively affect their interactions with other people.
Possible areas of coaching:
- Anger management
- Poor feedback culture
- Development of emotional Intelligence
- Poor self-management
Team coaching helps teams understand and align around a common purpose to deliver best results for all stakeholders, while creating a sustainable environment that cultivates long-term excellence and success. The team coaching process helps teams become resilient to the ever-changing dynamics of the modern business world, establish inspiring culture and vision, define clear roles, commit to team accountability, manage conflict well and increase the level of creativity and innovation.
According to one the leading team coaches, Prof. David Cluttebuck, team coaching is effective when:
- A new team is being formed and needs to quickly create momentum.
- A key team is not working as effectively as it could, and the team leader and team members agree that they want to do better.
- A long-established team has lost its sparkle and wants to regain it.
- A VIMT (Virtual, International, Multicultural Team) needs global dexterity to function effectively.
- A top team wants to become a role model for the rest of the organization.
Executive coaching is an experiential and individualized leader development process.
It can facilitate strategic thinking and increase self-awareness by providing a supportive space for reflection. It is considered to be effective in enhancing leaders’ capacity to cope with changes (agility and resilience), helps them engage and motivate their teams (better (EQ), helps them plan and achieve their personal and business goals (focus, mindfulness).
The reasons for working with a coach might include:
- Developing the leadership skills of high-potential individuals
- Helping managers become leaders
- Supporting the newly promoted managers
- Developing management and leadership skills among the technical people
- Preventing burnout in high achievers
- Stretching, challenging, and expanding the horizons of the executives
- Offering “reality checks” to confront self-image with the outside image
- Developing executive presence
I hope this list offers some clarification and a better picture of what coaching is and is not, the different types of coaching and where they are best applied.
If you are looking for a coach, do check their credentials. ICF is the golden standard of coaching globally, so coaches with ICF credentials are guaranteed to be highly trained professionals. Among many coaching schools and methodologies, the Co-Active coaching, in which I am certified, stands out as the golden standard.
With leadership greetings,