Along with every increasing challenge globally today, there are increasing opportunities too to prepare oneself to overcome these, irrespective of the challenges being external or self-imposed ones. Opportunities here mean availability of resources, tools, skills, environment to succeed and most importantly, the presence of experts who can guide or help and ensure the desired outcomes. Smart winners and achievers are always mindful of the old adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” instead of relying optimistically on “Fortune favours the brave”.
Today, there is something to handle, overcome or achieve at some point of time, usually always, in everyone’s life, say kicking an addiction or accomplishing something. People are busy grappling with issues concerning them directly or indirectly, internally or externally, but whatever the issue, it is only on them to handle it or wriggle out of it. You either swim your way out or drown. Some are fortunate or gifted to succeed but most are stuck, lacking guidance, confidence, self-belief, skill sets, capabilities, etc., These situations can arise in any area of people’s lives and they invariably need either a helping hand or a guiding light. Some of the examples are in life holistically or in the areas of career, business, profession, sports, and the performing arts.
In such scenarios, people invariably turn to either a teacher/trainer, a mentor, a counsellor, a therapist or a coach. Each of these are unique and special in their own way and have their respective approaches, of course, focusing on distinct aspects.
While a teacher/trainer focuses on developing new skills or refining old ones and the focus is technical, soft term and soft, a mentor shares his own experiences and the focus is on development. Counsellors or therapists delve into the past and come up with advice or remedies and their aim, usually, is to help overcome psychological barriers.
Whereas, coaching is all about bringing in a positive transformation by looking inside one’s self. Coaching is: being not concerned with the external factors. It’s all internal, the priority being a shift in thinking and perceptions. All human beings have it in them to achieve the impossible. Coaching is usually done either one to one or with a very small group of people.
A life coach as well as an executive coach ensure their client meets specific objectives, but an executive coach takes into account the organizational culture, corporate objectives and the KPIs.
Coaching tends to focus on “here and now” with an eye on the “destination”. It unlocks one’s true potential, maximizing the performance in the process. A good Coach helps one identify what’s most important and focus on that, helping him/her to learn instead of teaching, leading to success.
Coaching helps one identify gaps between where one is and would like to be. It is all about “now, a timeframe, a process and a desired outcome”. A coach can enroll a coachee from any field with any issue. A coach need not be a subject matter or a domain expert. The more questions a coach asks, the better he or she is.
All that an effective coach does is to ask questions and not give advice. He elicits answers from the coachee, makes him/her accept accountability and extracts a commitment which only can ensure the targeted outcome. A Coach never insists on solutions from his/her own model.
How does coaching help?
Coaching is effective only on positive people. The onus of making coaching succeed is always on the coachee. It brings out the true potential, makes one more self-reliant, increases the level of engagement with self or at the workplace, increases personal awareness, and much more, It empowers individuals whilst encouraging them to be more responsible.
A coach makes the coachee understand what he or she actually wants, helps in goal setting after thorough interventions and finally closes on required strategies and actions which enable them to achieve the goal. Most important of all, a coach ensures that the goals, road map and action plan comes from the coachee, meaning the coachee is empowered to do all that is required to achieve the objective.
Today, everyone needs help or support in some area or with some issue or the other. Many a coaching exercise have brought out the best in individuals, raising the bar for success or greater achievements. With the needs increasing, coaching is here not only to stay but add immense value and make a positive difference in everyone’s life in times to come.
No wonder more and more individuals and corporates are seeking the services of a coach!