“I am a Coach!” Remembering the first time I said this out loud, I knew this was right. Coaching is my passion; coaching is what I’ve been doing for most of my life. While the setting has shifted through the years, from community recreation to marketing to leadership development, the process is still the same. Basically, as a coach, I help people embrace the good that is within them and move forward.
My friend and fellow coach, Jane Creswell, defines this process as asking questions that help people focus on obstacles preventing them from making forward progress. (Complete Idiot’s Guide, Coaching for Excellence introduction.) The effective coach listens actively and helps the client develop strategies and initiate actions that translate into personal and professional growth.
These days, leaders are my main coaching clients. My coaching is around management, personal health, and creativity. My clients energize me as they claim progress to improve their careers. My mentor coach also keeps me moving forward. For me, coaching is a most energizing and gratifying work!
So, how does Coaching differ from other “professional advisor” people?
- The Counselor says, “Yes, I think I can help you and the solution is in your past.”
- The Consultant says, “Yes, I think I can help you and the solution is in your present.”
- The Coach says, “Yes, I’ll help you help yourself and realize a brighter future.”
Coaching is more than just asking reflective questions. The coach has to concentrate, hear nuances and shifts in the conversation. The coach is ever curious clarifying meaning and intention. The coach is present in the moment and learns to “dance” as the client leads in directions that cannot be predicted. The coach always remembers that the focus in on the client NOT on the coach.
The answers that are uncovered, the strategies that are embraced happen because the client does the uncovering and the embracing. The coach is there to guide the journey and give feedback to the client. There is nothing more exciting than the Coaching interaction, especially when there are “Ah Ha!” moments for the client!
Coaching works! And, I am a coach!