The Heart of a Coach
The word “Coaching” has become an industry buzzword just like “Mentoring”. However, it has been greatly misunderstood or misused by many. Coaching is a distinct service, which focuses on an individual’s life as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal change management. A great coach believes that everyone is uniquely creative with distinct potential. He does not provide solutions to the client through consultancy .
“Belief lifts your talent. Your talent will not be lifted to the highest level unless you also have belief” – John C. Maxwell
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. Coaching differs from mentoring in the sense that mentoring involves the sharing of wisdom based on the mentor’s past experiences. Professional coaches on the other hand, uses a range of communication skills (such as listening, questioning, clarifying etc.) to help clients shift their perspectives. The ultimate result is to uncover different approaches in achieving their goals.
Coaching and Mentoring
Coaches help professionals and businesses understand their values, identify their challenges and strengths. They also guide the client in the direction that will help them achieve their desired goals.
Life is a journey. Imaging ourselves as a boat sailing in the vast ocean. There are times when the wave is calm, we sail through without much difficulties. Occasionally, we face challenging times in the rough sea or discover some leaks (weaknesses) in our sail boat. While we try to patch up, we have to leverage on the sail (strengths) to give us momentum to overcome the rough sea.
Consequently, we have to use the compass to guide us in the right direction. Sometimes we look out for the lighthouse along the way to determine our position. The lighthouse is our indicators in life, that tell us if we are progressing in the right direction.
Similarly, as we progress through our life, we face the ups and downs in our career and personal life. Coaching provides a structured and systematic process of uncovering one’s potential to help us achieve higher performance. This process is to help one to learn and discover rather than to teach.
On the other hand, in mentoring, the mentor’s role is to share his/her experience and wisdom, He is imparting or teaching the client or employee during the mentoring session, very much like a solution provider. The solution provided during mentoring may or may not be relevant for the other party.
Benefits of Coaching?
Coaching provides a structure that enable an individual or organisation to achieve their goals. Essentially, an Executive or Business Coach helps the clients increase their performance by creating self-awareness and accountability. Some of the benefits of coaching include:
- Improving individual or team performance
- Creating self awareness
- Strengthening relationship with others
- Greater accountability and independence
- Developing leadership and management skills
- Better work life balance
ICF has also conducted a recent global study on the benefits of coaching as shown in the chart below.
Source: ICF Global Coaching Client Study conducted independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
There are also many success stories. Watch the following videos courtesy of ICF.
Who should I choose?
This is a great question especially for those that are new to coaching. One of the key success criteria in achieving performance involves “building trust” between you and the coach. Here are some tips:
- Have an introductory “Get-to-know Chemistry-Check” interview. Typically the first interview is at no charge.
- Look for similarities or differences between the two of you, and how it will support you in your growth.
- Discuss your goals and have some clear upfront agreement on the approach.
- Gather feedback or success stories
- Find out if they hold the necessary credentials from an accredited organisation eg. International Coach Federation
Another important thing to note is to hire a credentialed coach who has completed stringent qualification. This will ensure he is committed to the code of ethics and excellence. Certification from the ICF is extremely important when considering who to hire.
According to the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Study, 84 percent of participants who had experienced a coaching relationship reported they thought it was important for coaches to hold a credential.
Feel free to contact us for a no-obligation introductory chat. We will be more than happy to share with you our experience and services that we have to offer.