Coaching is an omnipresent term in the corporate jargon these days. But most of us are not clear about what coaching as a process really means. I still remember my palms getting sweaty when I was asked to coach some managers at the end of a training workshop a few years ago. It was unclear to me (like most of us) what coaching meant. Although I did a great job of being a consultant to the managers, but I was not coaching. That confusion got clarified when I began learning and developing skills as a certified coach which I would like to share.
It is a process built on trust and safety where one can achieve his/her personal best. This is done with the support of a coach who helps in building personal action-plan that is sustainable to achieve that goal.
An important thing to note is that the coach does not provide answers to the questions but remains with you as you dive deeper and helps you not drown.
The coach also provides the occasional “kick in the butt” (metaphorically only) when accountability is required. In short, Coaching all about YOU.
To make things easy (and funny maybe), here’s the distinction between the different processes of engagement such as, Consultancy, Teaching, Training, Mentoring, Counseling, Therapy and, Coaching.
Imagine you and an engagement professional (let’s call them that) are having this conversation
“What came first? the Chicken or the Egg?”
Consultant- I have helped chicken and eggs increase their efficiency, make impact in their coop-organizations and helped the bottom lines. My clients are all listed in Top 100 coops of the world. The answer is – It could be the chicken and/or the egg. It depends what business you are in. Let’s looks at trends.
Teacher- I have the knowledge and it is the Egg. Here’s a pop-quiz.
Trainer- At the end of this training, you will be able to count (Skill-based) the number of eggs. For counting chicken, there is a different training.
Mentor- Having worked for 30+ years in 10 countries with chicken, it is the Chicken. Twenty-three years ago, I was posed with a similar question, but it was if it was with a platypus and an egg. And yes, Platypus lay eggs.
Counselor- So, you have an Egg-problem? Let’s look at these action-steps to resolve it.
Therapist- Your experience in the past with the chicken may have triggered this question. I am listening, please tell me more.
Humor aside, Therapy and Coaching share some attributes. One distinction is that Coaching looks at the present and future while Therapy focuses on the past, which helps in deducing about one’s present and future.
Coach- Focusing on the present and moving forward, what DO YOU think came first? The chicken or the egg? And Why would you think so? You have the Knowledge and the answer. I am listening.
References: For definitions of various engagements, visit the International Coaching Community