Coaching is not a therapy, mentoring, teaching, nor a consultancy. But then what is it? Everybody seems to know at least one coach. Many of us seemingly have coaching skills and abilities. But I frequently get the question what a coach does and what coaching is actually about.
What is coaching about?
Coaches like playing with the mind, especiallly with their own, while guiding others to discover new, better quality thoughts, plans, and outlooks on their own ready-made thoghts and beliefs. By doing so, we set up a whole new framework of thinking that can open up more opportunities and more fulfillment. Coaching typically has three stagelevels: to reach a desired goal with a new strategy; the next step is new strategy combined with gaining new skills that allow us to reach our goals. These two are mainly goal oriented and we therefore cannot be considered successful in the long run, because we ternd to return to our entrenched old-fashioned habits as soon as the coaching stops.
We can only really upgrade our life to the next level if the new world we create or discover brings a new understanding that leaves a positive mark. That’s when change becomes a good enough ground to reach new heights – change as a trampoline (?). We can use these seperately or combined.
What a coach doesn’t do:
- won’t give you advice, because that wouldn’t be your solution that is exclusively for you and can work only if you apply it. If I needed financial advice I would turn to a financial specialist, but you are the only specialist of your life, not anybody else.
- won’t teach you – there are occasions where during the coaching process you will need to gain new skills, the coach can help you in this, but won’t teach as a teacher.
- won’t help you heal past traumas: we only check the past in the context of the present, whether the patterns you use are useful or not. If you want to resolve those past issues then a good psychologist with qualification in therapy can help.
What a coach does:
- imagine a coach as a tourguide who helps you see the sights and sometimes invites you to a different world where you can play with all the existing solutions until you find the fitting one.
- a coach asks tons of questions, but be aware of those who ask leading ones: “a question that prompts or encourages the answer wanted” – Google Dictionary).
- listens to you empathically, but keeps you on track;
- creates a friendly atmosphere for you to open your hidden resources in a thought provoking way packaged in a nice conversation;
- helps you to create your own action plan and to stay committed to your own growth process.
There are many different coaching schools and methodologies, as for ontological coaching, that I think is one of the bests (and naturally I’m not biased at all), because it lets us to untangle thoughts, behaviours and opportunites, too. Because coaching is much more than a sum of open ended questions.