The Coaching Process
"Our work as coaches is to be of service. If we try to help or fix them, we are implying that the person is broken and we are making a judgment. Helping and fixing go one way; they are draining, and they keep us from serving the dream in other people. They imply that we don't trust the person's potential and that we have expertise. The message should be "your life matters." Who we are is as important as what we do."Paraphrased from 2005 ICF Conference keynote speaker: Rachel Naomi Remen
Coaching is a process conducted in a supportive, open, flexible, and understanding environment. It is an ongoing, confidential relationship. Coaching fits easily into your life, with a minimum of disruption, since it is conducted primarily by telephone and can take place anywhere.
Coaching enables you to:
- Discover what it is that keeps you "stuck"
- Move beyond obstacles that are in your way
- Get a new perspective and see things from a new angle
- Become more aware of your surroundings
- Learn the art of surrounding yourself with people that truly support you
- Discover what you want and need
- Increase your awareness of being alive
- Design your own plan to create the experiences you want to have
- Achieve meaningful, consistent results that are long-lasting
A Matter of Perspective
Circumstances may not necessarily change, but our point of view can. For example: during a performance, a figure skater falls on the ice. (S)he can decide that there is no chance of getting a high mark, and exert minimal effort to the finish, or (s)he can decide to try even harder and pursue the possibility of still getting a high score. The circumstances remain the same in either case, but the results can be very different.
Ironically, coaching is about finding a solution but that is not the goal. The solution is a by-product of having you think differently, gain a new perspective, and create one almost automatically. The overall goal of coaching (at least the way I do it and teach it) is to be of service and help to find the idea, thought, or belief that holds everything in place. That's where the shift takes place- and the emotions can change from there. As for tools and techniques, ironically, the only tool/technique that can be universal- listening. How we listen, what we hear, don't hear, that is what coaching is all about.
Usually, there are more solutions to a problem than we believe. We tend to think it's either "A" or "B" because we're stuck with an idea about the solution. Fortunately, a Coach can introduce an alternate option "C", intended to open up new ways to view the same situation that could include combining "A" and "B", since it doesn't have to be an "either / or" choice.
Usually, however, it takes someone "on the outside" to introduce another possibility. For example: A 5' 5" man was telling me how much he loved to play basketball but that it was too frustrating. He wants to participate and be involved in the game, but because of his height, he rarely, if ever, gets the ball. He always feels dominated by the taller players. I suggested that he assemble a team of short men who also enjoy playing basketball so that there is no height problem. He honestly never thought of that as an option. He had truly believed his only choice was to play soccer instead, where height didn't matter.