To coach or not to coach, that is the question.
Many people are confused about coaching. What is it and how does it actually help?
Firstly, it’s important to know there are different types and styles of coaching. A Career Coach or a Business Coach, for example, would generally provide a mix of traditional coaching with advice giving and activities to be undertaken outside the coaching sessions. Traditional coaching, such as that utilised in Executive Coaching and Life Coaching, uses coaching methodologies and questioning techniques that help the coachee overcome self-limiting beliefs and decide what steps they feel will help move them closer towards their goal. Traditional and specialist coaching are both aimed at helping you move forward, the second also provides an advice and education component.
Ok, so you still might not really “get” how a coach can help you. Is it really worth the investment of time and money and what benefits will you see? Here are a few real-life examples of coaching clients I
have helped to resolve challenges in their professional and personal lives.
Veronica has a finance background and was coming up against a few communication challenges in a new role. She wanted to better manage her own reactions to a colleague she found particularly challenging, and
to be able to self-regulate when under pressure. Using traditional coaching methodologies, I worked with Veronica to clarify her goal and visualise what it would be like once she had achieved it. Through effective questioning she came to appreciate her own reactions were entirely within her control and learning to approach situations with a sense of curiosity would help her to appreciate her colleague’s motives and drivers. She identified a few options she could focus on to help her regulate her reactions and appreciate different perspectives. Implementing these options has helped Veronica better manage her interactions with this particular colleague and to approach situations with a sense of curiosity.
Veronica also sought to develop her skills at training others, and building their problem-solving ability. Using traditional coaching methodologies, I helped her identify and select some options to help with the issue. After talking it over, she decided to embrace activities such as encouraging employees to find a solution prior to asking for help, pushing back when asked to provide the answer, and using good questioning to guide the employee in the right direction
Jenny was seeking to change roles as she was currently under-employed and not really enjoying the space she was working in. Using Career Coaching processes, I helped Jenny refine her resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and all the usual job-searching resources. Additionally, I worked with Jenny to gain clarity around her values to be able to identify the industries, employers and roles that were most likely to provide her with the working environment she was seeking. She used this knowledge to assess a few possible opportunities and chose the one she felt best met her needs.
Now, you may or may not be able to related to some of these examples. It’s obvious that your situation will be different to another person’s. But hopefully you can appreciate that traditional or specialist coaching do have real value to add and might just provide the assistance you need to move one step closer to your goal, regardless of what that goal might be.
About Caroline McGuire
With a broad background across industries and organisations, Caroline is able to help individuals seeking clarity in their personal and/or professional life, and provide specific support to emerging and existing leaders aiming to improve self-awareness, communication and leadership skills. You can connect with Caroline and browse coaching services available through FlexCareers here.