Central Wisconsin Business Magazine
May 2005 (Volume 1, Number 1)
Coaching Can Make Positive Impact On Business, Life
Coaching isn't just for sports teams.
Basketball teams aren’t the only ones looking to coaches for guidance as they rally around March Madness. Businesses and individuals are turning to a different type of coach to improve their professional and personal life. The best part, no mouth guards or ankle braces are needed!
In this article and future writings, I hope to take you on a journey of developing yourself as a person in business and in life. Let’s start by learning about coaching.
What Is Life & Business Coaching?
Do you know what direction you want to go, and it isn't happening? Maybe you’re not even sure what your options are. Sometimes you get so busy “doing” things, it’s hard to step back and say, “Okay, where am I really going?” A coach can help you shift out of the daily routine and envision your goals.
It is an effective, personalized relationship that focuses on taking action. It’s an ongoing partnership where people are safe to be comfortable in the uncomfortable to deepen their learning, improve their performance and enhance their quality of life.
What Are the Reasons People Look to Coaching for Help?
Here are some examples of what people initially say when I ask, “What are the main reasons you’re considering hiring a coach – what are the challenges you’re facing?”
* I am dissatisfied with my life and feel out of balance.
* I am experiencing turbulence related to my job. It’s not fulfilling to me. I
want to explore some different options and need to make a change.
* I need help to prioritize what’s important.
* I really want to develop more confidence and assertiveness.
* I would like to improve my relationships.
* Help me! I need to learn how to manage my time so I can bring order
* I am looking to make a sound decision about whether to return to work
or stay at home with my kids.
* I am not quite the person I would like to be.
* I would like to learn what I need to do to make my life meaningful and
* I have put my interests and needs on a shelf so that I can take care of
everyone else. I desire to reconnect with myself and get to know me
* I am recently divorced and need to find some direction.
* I have some big decisions ahead of me.
Is Coaching For You?
All sorts of people hire a coach. It has the freedom and flexibility to address a wide variety of topics. People frequently hire a coach when they start a new business, make a career transition, desire to improve performance, reevaluate their life choices, seek greater balance, or simply feel ready for a breakthrough. Some have clear, specific goals, "I want a new career" or "I want to lose weight." Others have more vague goals like "I want to be fulfilled" or "I want to be happy."
You might think coaching is for people who don't know what they want to do with their lives, but the opposite is also true. Many of my clients are successful, well-adjusted people hoping to accomplish even more in their lives. It's smart to ask for help. When you hire a coach, you take yourself more seriously and stop putting up with what's dragging you down.
How Does Life & Business Coaching Work?
Coaches facilitate the process of finding answers within yourself, discovering your purpose and moving you toward your result. This is accomplished by identifying and resolving roadblocks, asking powerful questions, making requests, holding you accountable, supporting what’s working, listening, and by being enthusiastic and sincere.
Coaching is flexible and focused on the clients' unique needs. Together, with your coach, you design a program that works best for you. My coaching clients achieve success by scheduling coaching sessions two to four times per month – 45 to 60 minutes each. I request a minimum of a 4 month commitment to our coaching relationship. Other times people are coached on a specific project.
I coach in-person in "The Coaching Parlor," over the telephone and throug email. A typical session includes a review of accomplishments, a learning conversation to identify and move beyond obstacles, and practices.
How is a coach different from a therapist, sports coach, consultant or best friend?
A therapist works with people who are asking why , dealing with old issues and seeking healing from emotional pain or trauma. A therapist may assist the client in untangling unconscious conflicts and treat depression, anxiety, phobias, addictions and destructive behavior.
Coaching includes several principles from sports coaching - teamwork, going for the goal, being your best. Unlike sports coaching, most coaching is not based on winning or losing. Coaches strengthen the client's skills as opposed to helping them beat the other team. It's a win/win.
Consultants are experts with answers or are people who have done what the client is doing. Coaching is a form of consulting. But the coach stays with the client to help implement the new skills to make sure they happen.
A best friend is wonderful to have. But is your best friend a professional who you will trust to advise you on the most important aspects of your life and business? Have a best friend and a c oach.
So, a coach’s job is to listen and ask the right questions, to help a client find the answers that lie within, to identify true priorities and applaud progress toward goals. Can your best friend, spouse or parent do this? Probably not. For better or worse, they may have their own bias. As a certified life and business coach, I hold the client’s agenda and keep my own opinions out of it. Furthermore, a loved one might not hold your feet to the fire and prod you along your chosen course. You hire a coach to do just that!
How Does Coaching in Organizations Work?
Coaching is evolving as a natural form of leadership in the changing world of work. It’s a way of managing, a way of communicating, a way of thinking, and a way of being.
Coaches are in demand at all levels to help retain valued employees and assist them to:
Successfully manage change
Learn and implement new skills
Balance and develop their professional and personal lives
Raise performance levels
Work more effectively with customers and colleagues
Organizational coaching contributes to business results by increasing the bottom line and enhancing performance. At the same time, reestablishes personal meaning, well-being and satisfaction. It helps align both professional and personal goals.
Every organization is unique and coaching programs are designed to meet your specific needs. It can begin as a gradual process by exploring it with a few people. It can be done in-person, on the phone and through email. It can be with individuals, small groups or teams on a weekly, biweekly or monthly schedule. Coaching in organizations is a three-way partnership among the coach, the coachees and the sponsor.
Consider coaching for your own personal and professional development and the growth of those who work with you. I invite you to contact me to find out more about how coaching can benefit you and others.