Coaching Explained

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 03-04-2012

An overview of what coaching is and how it can help you...

Most people aren’t aware what coaching is or how having their own coach could help them manage their personal and business lives more effectively.  There’s a misconception that coaches are for the rich and famous or are touchy feely “life coaches” who don’t really help you make tangible changes. However, over the past 10 years or so coaching has emerged and been accepted as an integral part achieving and maintaining success both personally and professionally.

At one time, Coaches were predominantly used by sports professionals. Think of any sports personality and you can guarantee that they have a coach or coaches. I've helped a number of semi-professional golfers with their game, helping them with the psychology of their game. Coaches rarely have the ability of their clients to actually do what they do, but yet they are able to facilitate and inspire their clients achieve fantastic success.

What most people don’t realise is that the majority of ‘successful’ people, including entrepreneurs, film stars, pop/rock stars, business manager/executives and coaches all have their own coach or coaches. Look behind most successful people and invariably you will find that they have a coach. Coaching is no longer available to the rich and famous; it is accessible and applicable to everyone and can help you make long lasting changes in your life.

What is coaching?

Coaching means working with someone who will help you achieve tangible changes in your life. What people don’t realise is that they have the solutions to most if not all of their own problems. The coach doesn’t solve them for them, they are skilled at asking the right questions in order that their client comes up with the answer. Here’s the process I use with my clients:

  • Help them clarify exactly what it is that they want to achieve (most goals fail because they aren’t ‘authentic’ goals ie they are goals that the person ‘thinks’ they should want or are someone elses goals ie their partners/ husbands/ company’s)
  • Identify where they are in relation to achieving that goal
  • Identify any obstacles that may be stopping them
  • Devise a step by step plan which is reviewed and adjusted at each session until the goal is reached.

I, along with most of my fellow coaches (if they're good that is), set ‘homework’ for my clients for completion in between sessions, which ensures that they are working in a structured way using the agreed plan (No 4 above). I find that having someone to report back to really makes clients take action that otherwise you may have not done. My clients know that they can’t turn up to a session not having completed the previous session’s homework (without having a fantastic reason) and I find that’s a fantastic motivator! The step by step plan and the homework are keys to achieving goals. Without taking inspired action on a goal, it will always be out of reach.

What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

The main distinction between coaching and therapy is that coaching deals with now and the future, whilst therapy deals with the past. A coach will rarely delve into your past as a therapist would. That’s not to say that your past isn’t important, however, in coaching we believe that everyone can achieve great things, no matter what happened in your past. What’s good about the past is that it’s in the past! What coaching will do is promote a greater self-awareness and fuller appreciation of our own situations and circumstances.

A good coach will know when to and when not to help someone. If I’m working with a client and find that they do have strong underlying issues such as severe depression, evidence of abuse etc, I will refer them to a suitable therapist. Once those issues have been dealt with successfully with a trained professional, I am then more than happy to work on positive goal setting and achievement with the client. As a coach, you need to know your limitations and follow coaching ethics, thereby providing the individual the best support that suits them.

What can coaching can help you with?

Coaching can help you with a whole range of issues that you may be facing whether they are personal or business related (I find that most business issues are personal issues in disguise). There’s nothing touchy feely about a good coach, they can really help you make tangible changes in your life. The following will give you an idea of the types of issues I work with my clients to resolve:

  • Increasing personal performance and effectiveness
  • Increasing professional profile
  • Career Management (eg taking your career to the next level/changing jobs/setting up your own business)
  • Coping with redundancy
  • Managing conflict and dealing with difficult people
  • Increasing confidence
  • Increasing positivity
  • Increasing profits
  • Managing stress
  • Increasing assertiveness
  • Clarifying and setting authentic goals
  • Removing obstacles to achieving goals
  • Achieving a work life balance

I have an innovative approach to coaching which really gets underneath the issue using a range of techniques such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and CBT (Congnitive Behavioural Therapy), transformational and traditional coaching methods in order to inspire my clients to achieve exceptional results.

Is there something in your business or personal life that you’d like to change?

Why not consider coaching.  Due to technology being as it is, coaching no longer needs to be done face to face, it can be done over the phone, through Skype or using email. It doesn’t matter what country you’re in, what does matter is that you are comfortable with your choice of coach and they are prepared to help you achieve real results.

If you would like information how we can help you achieve tangible results in your life, contact us for a free, no obligation conversation about how we can help you.

JO's FIRST BOOK: Thoughts Become Things

Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.

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