Coaching and therapy are two very different processes. The focus of therapy is firmly placed in the past – things happened then that are still having a negative impact today. The focus of coaching is firmly placed in the present and the future – what things can we cause today that will have a positive impact in the future.
If you recall our earlier article ‘What is coaching . . . . really’, we highlighted that ‘Coaching is a dialogue with a person, or team of people, which assists the individuals along a process of self-discovery, leading to some form of self-chosen and desired action’.
This definition clearly highlights that the power to change, or the choice not to change, rests with the person or people being coached.
Generally, people or teams who hire coaches want to become exceptional. These are not people who ‘need to be fixed’. One of the most basic foundational principles of coaching is that the people who coaches work with are whole, complete and successful individuals. If, when working with a client, we identify areas where this is not true, the client is referred to a therapist. Coaching and therapy can happily co-exist, provided both parties understand the scope of each other’s roles.
Examples of coaching goals can include leaving corporate and setting up your own business, finding that elusive work/life balance, or even how to take your business global.
The goal of coaching can be about making a behavioural change. A client could identify that they have behavioural traits that do not support them and can ask for help in shifting this behaviour. In this regard, the coach will help the client by holding up a mirror to them, asking them the tough questions, and holding them accountable to achieve the change they seek.
Coaching can be done on any subject that the coach is comfortable to coach on. I’ll cover this in more detail in a later article, but suffice it to say that coaches are process experts, and therefore do not necessarily need to be subject matter experts. However, most clients do want coaches to have proven expertise in the area of coaching, hence coaches are becoming increasingly niched in their areas of focus.
Coaching always asks for action, even if that action is reflection.
After having read this article, contemplate how you can become exceptional. Choose one area of your life or business where you can leverage your strengths, and set yourself definitive goals to achieve within a pre-determined time frame. If you don’t currently work with a coach, find an accountability partner who can help keep you on track.
Share your action if you’d like some support, and share this article if you know of someone who could benefit.
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