Oh my! Really? I just read an email basically telling me what I should want from a coach. While it had a few things I agreed with, I was fascinated by the approach of telling the consumer (me) what they needed and how they were going to get it. Now if this was a consulting firm, perhaps I would have been happier, but it wasn’t.
It was however a great example of defining true coaching, or at least the co-operative model of coaching (or as Whitworth et al coined “Co-Active” Coaching).
Yes, one should expect certain things from a coach like integrity, privacy, confidentiality, preparedness, promptness, 100% focus, active listening and experience…just to name a few.
But the whole point of coaching is for the client to work on what’s important to the client, not to work on the coach’s agenda. For the coach to dictate exactly where and how the client is going to get from A to B I think misses the joy of the experience. If the conversation is formulaic how does the client transform? They’re being told what and how to think? Yes, a problem may temporarily get solved but there’s not really any growth for that person in the process.
This transformative piece is that pivotal, in my mind, as it produces “AHA” moments for the client. The coach’s role is to listen and ask questions to clarify or uncover challenges, beliefs, strategies, goals, and feelings. The coach draws from the individual their own power to have insights and empowers them to see and solve their own dilemmas. As a result of the interaction, the person grows and the client’s potential and energy reserves are elevated.
This requires far more creativity and resourcefulness. So choose carefully and know that if you’re being told what to do, you have a consultant. If you’re being asked how you are going to do it, you have a coach.
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