Wednesday, July 22, 2009
“Just what is coaching, anyway...?”
Here’s the question that comes up all the time. From those who may need a coach, and for those who would coach them and are tasked with delivering a definition that has some meaning that may be understandable with those who might like to access such a service.
Personally, I am a bit ‘over’ the sporting analogies and frankly think the name is actually a bit inconsequential, since the coaching role can cover such a wide variety of contexts, and because each coach may cover within a specific niche and in some ways, may operate in a way that is slightly different from other coaches, and indeed, differently depending on the client, it may vary from case-to- case as different scenarios demand. I am given to understand that some coaches don’t vary the way they coach, but I cannot speak to that. In my own work with clients, I have a range of tools that I have developed that address certain issues within a business and still others that I custom-create to fit the need. Since I work with businesses in different sectors and with different products and presenting dilemmas, this seems to work well for us.
Coaching as a vocation is an interesting business. Like any business owner knows, there is providing a product, and then there is running a business...Two very different ‘animals’.
Today the topic came up as several of we coaches held a meeting to nut out some issues in putting together a network for coaches in the Newcastle and Hunter region. It is an interesting bunch of people, with interests, and expertise across a wide spectrum of topics. The coaches are quite different as are their respective focus areas and work with clients on issues ranging from personal/life stuff, through couples, family relationships and different shades of business, large and small, family businesses, corporate business, employee coaching, and more. With clients ranging from individuals facing transition in their lives, business owners looking to develop their business to the next level, or just plain get organised and shed some unnecessary stress from their lives. All good people all facing their own particular challenge.
Perhaps our greatest challenge as coaches is in creating an awareness, that we’re here. We’re here for the business owner who wants to finally get some systems in place and run their business like a ‘real one’. For the single mother looking to grow and raise her personal esteem and be a good model for her children. For the newly divorced man who finds himself on the outer and no real skills to move forward toward a loving healthy next relationship – with himself – and later with another.
What do coaches do? Well that depends. What do you need? What is it that you want to do that you haven’t been able to manage alone? That’s what coaches do. Help you achieve whatever it is that you want. Sometimes, it begins with helping you understand and articulate, just what that is that you do want.
As simple and as complex as that, is the answer to what coaches do.
The real point, perhaps in our coaching network, is to create a focal point, so that those looking for help – of whatever kind – can find the starting point to connect with someone who can help them to do just that thing they have a desire to do. I hope they find us.
I think that’s quite a good start... Don’t you think?
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