Coaching - What's It All About?

1550-60; 1840-50 for sense “tutor”; earlier coche(e) < Middle French coche < German Kotsche, Kutsche < Hungarian kocsi, short for kocsi szekér cart of Kocs, town on the main road between Vienna and Budapest.

It is no coincidence that the word used to mean an enclosed carriage that transports a traveller from point A to point B is the same word used for a person who provides guidance or tutoring. A coach, in the sense that the word has become most widely known in modern times, does the same thing – guides the client on a personal journey from point A to point B; from good to great; from potential to performance.

Why Coaching?

You're feeling stuck. You know you want to transition into a new career or lead a more fulfilling life but you don't know what that looks like, not least how to get there. You lean on your partner, your friends, your family; but you are not getting the resolution you need. Though you are a pragmatic, rational problem-solver, you can't seem to unlock the answer on your own.

1.   Partners, friends, family – we love them to bits, but they bring their own moral compasses, belief systems, judgements, and yes, baggage to your situation. They can lose patience if their advice or recommendations go unheeded; they can be risk averse and nay-sayers, when all you want to hear is that anything is possible;

2.   It is very difficult to coach yourself, splitting yourself into two different personae on demand. Separating the internal voices of years of conditioning and judgement from the more powerful whole with a thirst and capacity for growth is very challenging. Even coaches have their own coaches, just as counsellors, psychotherapists etc, have their own professionals. Not knowing what to do, where to go or how to get there can result in inertia.

3.   “The client has the answers; the coach has the questions”. A coach acts as an impartial thinking partner. With targeted, challenging questions, a coach will help you create your own solutions and options. A coach brings independence and clarity to your thoughts, to help you consider a creative range of options, to solve your career and life challenges now and in the future. A coach helps to bring the whole powerful you to solving your challenges. A quality coach shows you skills that you can utilise in the future to solve problems, giving you independence and setting you on a path to your own success.

Coaching is forward-focused – we concentrate on the way forward, looking back now and then to understand behavioural patterns and beliefs that may limit your progress.

Personally, I enjoy working with a coach to help me explore possibilities. I don’t want someone else to give me the answers, but I appreciate the assistance to find them. During the time I worked with a career coach, I came to be clear on my vision of how I wanted to live and work, identify talents and strengths, create goals, develop options and create an action plan. I also understood what holds me back and now I am able to self-coach my way out of any 'course-correctors' or challenges.

The world is changing rapidly and there are some significant career and life challenges facing us – redundancy, changing work patterns, increasing retirement age, third age career changes, a more urgent desire to live a life of purpose. Coaching is critical in facing these changes with confidence.