What is Coaching?
You’re probably no stranger to the term “Coaching”. Although this career track and process has been around for quite some time, it is growing like wildfire— not only in corporations and in our personal lives, but in all levels of education as well. As a career it can feel similar to therapy or counseling, mentoring, or consulting. Depending upon your style and experience, however, it can certainly be a nice mix of several of these modalities. It’s also a wonderful compliment to training.
However, the process of coaching is very distinct and focuses not on the past, but on what’s desired and needed to propel one forward toward experiencing the results they are seeking. Coaching is truly about forward motion. To be even more specific, it’s about connecting with what sometimes is not immediately seen or felt, those beliefs and behaviors that may unconsciously be holding us back. Skilled coaching can hone in on these important aspects of ourselves.
Why I Decided to Become a Coach
One of the reasons most coaches start dabbling in the business, or transition into it full time, is because they enjoy helping others become more self-aware, and ultimately, more successful in all aspects of their lives and careers. It’s very rewarding. One of the reasons I enjoy coaching so much is that I love really “being with my client”, or meeting them where they are. By doing this, I’m able to become the kind of coach each of my clients needs. Some of my clients just need me to listen and help clarify what they are learning about themselves and their situations, others need me to brainstorm with them and create action new thoughts, behaviors and actions that support their vision, and others need me to help them stay accountable (get it done!)
- Assess (understand self)
- Identify (what needs to change/improve)
- Create (steps to make it happen)
- Measure (track success)
I love molding my style for their benefit. The strategies I will use with an executive may be different than the ones I will use with my children, but the coaching process holds true, and it’s one that will empower others to take more responsibility in their lives and push forward toward success–however they define it.
Here’s another way to look at the process of coaching, offered in article in Forbes by Candice Frankovelgia of the Center for Creative Leadership.
1) Building the relationship.
It’s easier to learn from someone you trust. Coaches must effectively establish boundaries and build trust by being clear about the learning and development objectives they set, showing good judgment, being patient and following through on any promises and agreements they make.
2) Providing assessment.
Where are you now and where do you want to go? Helping others to gain self-awareness and insight is a key job for a coach. You provide timely feedback and help clarify the behaviors that an employee would like to change. Assessment often focuses on gaps or inconsistencies, on current performance vs. desired performance, words vs. actions and intention vs. impact.
3) Challenging thinking and assumptions.
Thinking about thinking is an important part of the coaching process. Coaches ask open-ended questions, push for alternative solutions to problems and encourage reasonable risk-taking.
4) Supporting and encouraging.
As partners in learning, coaches listen carefully, are open to the perspectives of others and allow employees to vent emotions without judgment. They encourage individuals to make progress toward their goals, and they recognize their successes.
5) Driving results.
What can you show for it? Effective coaching is about achieving goals. The coach helps the employee set meaningful ones and identify specific behaviors or steps for meeting them. The coach helps to clarify milestones or measures of success and holds the individual accountable for them.
As you can see, the skills used by coaches are ones that can benefit individuals professionally and personally, from all walks of life. Here at FIU Life Well LED, coaching is at the foundation of everything we do. We’ve seen how coaching has improved the lives of many students, professionals and individuals, and we’ve launched several programs that can help you learn how to be a great coach—for yourself, your employees, or in any capacity that you design. Coaching niches are endless!
Your Opportunity to Create Impact as a Certified Professional Coach!
We are now thrilled to offer alumni of FIU an opportunity to become Certified Professional Coaches, right here on campus! Our first cohort begins July 17th!
For all program details and FIU Alumni discount information, visit: http://lwlblog.fiu.edu/ipec-training, or call: 305-348-4723.
About the Author
Monique Catoggio, CPC, ACC
Director, FIU Life Well LED