What is Coaching anyway?

I am sometimes asked by people what I actually do when I’m coaching. Before I have started to answer, it is often closely followed by a question about the difference between counselling (or therapy) and coaching. Of course, there is the text-book answer. Coaching is not intended to work from a position of fixing people. Coaching is rooted in the principles that people are naturally creative, resourceful and whole.  And that is a good and important principle that coaches adhere to

In coaching we are seeking to provide people with the self-awareness to be able to come up with their own choices, answers and solutions, to take responsibility, and be empowered to improve and fulfil their potential. All well and good. Nothing wrong with that. The agenda is the client’s to bring to the coaching and it is not the coach’s place to ‘judge’ what is important to the client or not.

source: listas.20minutos.es

source: listas.20minutos.es

This is where it can start to get tricky.  People will often present (particularly in a business setting) with a problem they want to fix.  It might be a business-related issue that they are stuck with and they are looking to work out a way forward with it.  Coaching can provide the client with a useful sounding board for their ideas, for the coach to explore areas that are causing the client to feel stuck, can provide the independent, non-judgemental environment that allows the client to clear their head before stepping back in to the fray with a new plan of action. There is nothing wrong with that of course, and for many people it is a great service.  Some clients will say “I always feel so much better just talking to you.”

But, do our clients deserve more than this from their coach?   Continue reading