About Coaching – Questions and Answers
What is the value of coaching? Why is coaching more necessary than ever?
Now more than ever, leaders are operating in a 24/7 environment, with a constant inflow of emails, data, requests and fire drills. Often, we find, leaders are not able to regularly step back from day to day operations and focus on long-term strategic plans and priorities. In addition, the pace of organizations today is exponentially faster than in decades past, and we see leaders not carving out time to take stock of what is and is not working in how they are showing up and/or performing in their role.
Furthermore, organizations are operating with leaner and flatter organizational structures in more competitive environments, where talent at all levels are asked to do more with fewer resources. Leaders need to be more deliberate than ever around how they prioritize and approach their work, and how they can carve out time for necessary recharge and renewal in order to avoid burnout.
Coaching provides a needed space for leaders to step back and examine their mindset, their behavior and context with a fresh and creative lens Working with a coach, leaders feel supported and accountable in managing their growth as leaders and professionals.
What is Coaching?
Coaching is a co-created relationship in that both the client and coach need to invest in building a trusting professional partnership. Through this partnership, the client gains a safe space for exploration and learning with an orientation toward achieving specific goals that are meaningful and relevant for the client.
In coaching, the client needs to take responsibility for his or her results in the relationship. A coach will own the process and facilitate learning and insight for the client and hold the clients accountable for stated goals and results. Coaches cannot "do the work" for their clients, unfortunately. Clients have to invest their time and energy to get maximum results in coaching.
What are distinctions between coaching, consulting and even therapy?
Coaching is often considered to be “contentless” for the reason that the client brings the expertise and answers in his or her own context; the coach’s role is to guide the process for clients to access their own unique solutions. In consulting, clients want complete answers and solutions to their challenges. There are certainly times when coaches bring outside perspectives and guidance to support clients; however, coaches look to facilitate clients in solving issues and answering questions for themselves. Coaching is about helping clients to find their own answers and be self-sufficient in the long term.
In coaching, the assumption is that the client is whole, capable and competent in his/her environment. The coach’s role is facilitate the client in exploring relevant questions and issues with greater sense of new possibilities and also a broader and longer term perspective than a client would take on his/her own.
The orientation in coaching is more toward examining the present through the lens of the desired future state. While historical circumstances and patterns are certainly relevant in coaching at times, there is less focus and time spent exploring the past. The goal in therapy is often oriented to gaining understanding and insight from past to free one up in present.
HOW DO I KNOW IF A CLIENT IS READY FOR COACHING?
They are committed to both their own and their team’s professional development and engagement.
They would value the opportunity to work with a creative thought partner around challenges they are facing as a professional and as a leader.
They have contemplated making some changes for some time and are ready to move ahead.
They have at least one to three goals that would be meaningful for them to work on professionally.
They are willing to be open, honest and vulnerable with their coach so that they can get the most from our conversations and relationship.
They are also ready to be open, honest and vulnerable, where relevant, with their colleagues/team so that they can grow and improve.
They are in a space where they are able and ready to reflect on their approach and what is and is not working and make adjustments where it would be useful.
They are willing put in the time for reflection, sessions, experiments and homework that will support them in their professional goals.
They are able and willing to articulate what they need from coaching and when adjustments need to be made so that the relationship can support their goals.
They are willing to take responsibility and accountability for ensuring their professional success and results achieved in coaching.
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