The following quote is a definition of coaching delivered by the International Coach Federation - global site:
"Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives. The coach's responsibility is:
. Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
. Encourage client self-discovery
. Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
. Hold the client responsible and accountable."
Coaching is a professional relationship between two individuals (the coach and the client) that assists one individual (the client) in achieving personal and/or professional goals in an accelerated manner. The process involves a succinct conversation, in a structured manner (i.e. methodology), that supports the client to reach goals and to achieve desired outcomes. Coaches support the client in manifesting his/her potential in attaining agreed-upon goals. Coaches are hired for a variety of different reasons and often times they are hired to assist someone in changing jobs, clarifying a vision, improve communication skills, realize a dream, grow a small business, climb the corporate ladder, manage a team more effectively, etc. A coach encourages, confronts, challenges, questions, and above all, consistently honors, respects, and unconditionally supports a client in growing and achieving his/her goals. The coaching relationship is a transformational process that inevitably results in growth for the client.
This practice was generated to cater for emerging concerns which other practices such as counseling and consulting could not respond to. It has been proven that coaching fosters learning by 88%, especially to support learning in which it enables internalization of training skills recently acquired, as coaching focuses the clients on what is most important to them, on themselves (strengths and aspirations), while the coach believes in their ability to accomplish their goals (source: University of British Columbia, HR Depart.).
It is the practice that accommodates the nurturing of today's modern emergent concerns from home to work and from dreams to real experience, as well as transitions. Therefore, it is correct to say that everyone needs a coach, no matter if you're a peak performer who would want and need to maintain your inner-outer balance to continue to perform, or whether you're going through transitions and adversities, and could use a partner in confidence that truly places 100% of attention, in your best interest, while supporting you through such times and bringing you back up again.
Many corporations' employees, of all levels, have experienced the power and the value of coaching and for some of these reasons and outcomes:
. To develop higher productivity and effective leaders, talents and teams
. To plan for succession
. To improve performance of employees whose supervisor is being coached
. To improve recruitment outcomes
. To improve organizational performance
. To address specific workplace challenges
. To self-develop
. To improve team's morale and working relationships
. To increase communication precision, clarity in directives and proactive feedback
. To develop a vision
. To ameliorate staff retention rate
. To appreciate and make use of self-worth, peers' strengths and build synergies
Coaching's sweet-spot, especially in organizations, is best to be used for development purposes because this would support increased autonomy, relationships and competency, as defined by the three human basic psychological needs: ARC, under the theory of motivation (Susan Fowler, 2014, Chapter 2, pp. 33-50). Benefits for the employer are obvious if these three human psychological needs are met by the individual, as the employee realizes his/her potential, is self-motivated and self-directed, he/she is proactive in self-leadership and in learning to lead others. Great results can be shown when employees are focused in being productive by their willingness to extend discretionary effort in their jobs, endorse the company, wants to stay and crates a motivating environment at the workplace.
Coaches would typically use a coaching process in their sessions, combined with a set of skills and toolbox that support the sessions. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is a global body that provides the standards of coaching for professionally qualified coaches, accredited by the ICF. One of the most important things to consider when hiring coaches is not necessarily if they have a specialization that you're looking for, but rather, is the coach telling you the truth that you don't want to hear? Truth-telling may, at first, create anger in you against your coach, but it most probably will get you away from being stuck and living in denial? My dear friend, mentor and colleague - Linda Miller (MCC)- gives us, in her blog, a list of elements to look for in a coach when you're hiring.
Linda says: "If you're going to work with a coach, find one who...
. Will tell you what you don't want to hear
. Will say what no one else is saying
. Will not let you get away with...
. Holds you to the highest of standards
. Causes you to look at different perspectives
. Believes something bigger/better/more effective is possible
. Holds up the mirror again and again... and again..."
Depending on the reason behind your coaching engagement, behavioral changes take time, thus, coaching may take a few weeks to months; having a coach that can hold that safe place to work with your goals in complete confidentiality, is the ultimate performance enhancer, as the coach is 100% there to support your success towards your goals.
To find out more on tips how and where to find a coach, check out the ICF site.