How does coaching work?

Coaching - helping the client develop and move towards achievement of their goals

Coaching is a client led activity – this means that the coach is led by the needs of the client; what would they like to achieve from the coaching? What is challenging for them at this moment? What about the next time they meet? And what does their organisation want them to achieve and how can we do this together?

Sometimes coaching can be seen as a nice chat, but that’s far from the truth! There are coaching models, GROW the most well-known, there are tools to help move thinking forward and the role of the coach is very much that of facilitator; the coach helps the client develop and move towards achievement of their goals.

For me there are three stages to a successful coaching relationship;

  1. Building awareness; a key ingredient of coaching is the development of awareness. This can be self-awareness, where the coachee gets to understand themselves better and realise the impact that they have on those around them (not always negative impacts, many people don’t’ realise how much they are valued and appreciated and what for). This can also be awareness of what’s happening; what is it about your time management that doesn’t work for you? What is happening in the moments when you feel stressed out in work, rather than coping with everything that’s thrown at you. Often developing this awareness is when the ‘light bulb’ moments of coaching occur.

  2. Understanding; once you can identify what’s happening, coaching can help you to explore why things happen. Why do you get angry with your manager when they say to you “Well done?”, why is it that a three line email has tipped you over the edge of your tolerance, and why do you suddenly feel deskilled when you’ve been doing your job for 20 years?

  3. Developing strategies; from understanding can come action. What can you do to find out what’s expected now? Who do you need to speak to and what do you need to say to them? Are there current job specs available and how do they compare with yours (do you even have one)?

    What do you need to ask your colleague to do to show thanks and how can you ask your Manager to stop making you feel like a child – or how do you learn to live with these things? Or is it time to leave (see my other blog post, There’s Always a Choice).

    Once you know what you want to do, your coach is there to support you in implementing the changes you want to make.

Does that sound like a cosy chat to you? There’s structure, purpose and depth to good coaching and good coaches are trained in the skills that they need to support this process. If you want to know more or discuss this view, do get in touch! You’ll find me on LinkedIn or drop me an email.