This week has been designated International Coaching Week by one of the world’s largest professional coaching bodies, the International Coach Federation, but what does that mean to the average person?
Not much, probably.
The purpose of this week is to demonstrate the impact of coaching both from a personal and professional perspective, so I’d like to play my part in that.
People’s view of coaching is often one or more of the following:
- not knowing much about it, or having any idea how or whether it really works
- having the view that someone who needs coaching has something wrong with them or needs to be coached in order to fix a (usually work-related) problem
- being suspicious and generally avoiding like the plague anything that they believe might be remotely fluffy or “new age”, or require them to fully open up
- thinking that coaching, counselling, psychotherapy and psychiatry are all much the same and just means you have to talk about stuff; sure what good is that?
- they want someone to tell them what to do and to give advice
Truly effective coaching, however, is simply about helping people to define and then achieve their goals, because
a) your goal or desired outcome may not be clearly defined, which will impede progress, and any good coach will help you to clarify this or these… and
b) you possibly may not be really aware yet of what is stopping you from achieving that goal; again this is where coaching can help you to overcome whatever limits you’ve been putting on yourself, or find new perspectives to deal with obstacles.
The key in coaching is helping you to be present and aware, and to move forward rather than being focusing primarily on the past.
Rather than prejudging coaching as potentially flaky, intrusive, remedial or any other label, why not explore the possibility that some coaching professional out there could be the right person to help you to achieve goals that you have always wanted, but never had the support to reach for.
If you can approach coaching with an open mind, and are prepared to try it and see if it works for you, you may find that if one coach doesn’t have the right style or approach for you, but another might work more effectively.
In the sporting world of rugby, golf and tennis, players like Brian O’Driscoll, Rory McIlroy and Andy Murray, and other sports teams who are already brilliant & talented recognise the value of coaching across many aspects of their game. Sports coaching takes them to even greater heights and enables them to realize their full potential.
Using the same principles of goal setting and self awareness, within a trusted relationship, your coach could offer the same to you, to support you in career, lifestyle, team development, leadership, business, relationship, communications, confidence, nutrition, creativity, parenting… or any area you want to improve in your life. Just as sportspeople and teams have maximised their potential through coaching, you can be an even better version of yourself.
You just need to make that commitment and investment in yourself, and find the right coach and try it out – because you’re worth it too!