What is coaching?

Let's say you are in a job where you think you are performing well and want to get to the next level. What if you could have someone who is

1. ethical and well trained to facilitate

2. with your agenda in focus (not his)

3. going to maintain confidentiality

4. able to provide a safe thinking environment

and by doing so, works with you for lasting positive behaviour change so that you can achieve results that you think are important.


So, why do you need a coach (and your best buddy may not be enough)?

Talking to your best buddy would help too - if he were to only follow up on actions


However, as a professional, a coach

1. would be ready to ask you tough questions without any personal need to preserve a relationship

2. would understand your personality type, learning styles and hence help you stretch your own thinking

3. would help you strategise your actions

4. would support you to re-examine your own thinking and beliefs

5. would help you identify your own drivers and what makes you intrinsically happy

6. would encourage you to build new habits and behaviours

7. MOST IMPORTANTLY understands that no teaching/preaching helps anyone. It's just that everyone has to do their own learning.

A coach is a co-traveller on that journey of learning and experimenting for success.


How does it typically work?

The coach and coachee meet for a conversation where they discuss their mutual expectations from the assignment. If it does work, the coachee is helped to set goals and transalate them further into strategies and actions.

In performance coaching, the goals are typically behaviours that the coachee needs to develop - could be based on a simple data collection process such as requesting for inputs from colleagues/team members/people at home.
Over the period  of say 3 months, the coach and coachee meet (or telephonically) to discuss the progress, the roadblocks, alternate strategies and many of the times, at a deeper level - the beliefs and the habits of the coachee that has helped him or her achieve their actions. It is the job of the coach to get you to explore a different perspective, a new line of thinking and encourage you.


What coaching is NOT

1. It is not mentoring. So do not expect your coach to give you solutions from a "been there, done that". It is best if you have a coach who has NO experience in your field.

2. It is not Psychological therapy. If the coachee is suffering from depression/low moods, the coach will not try to counsel them. Instead, the coach would stop the coaching and request the coachee to meet a counsellor/psychiatrist.


Who needs coaching?

Anyone who wants to do better at what they are doing! The pre-requisite is the need to do better.

Coaching is not a medicine for the sick. It is tonic for the healthy.


Coaching is of many purposes and types - Executive coaching, leadership coaching, life coaching, performance coaching, etc. I personally stick to performance coaching as a coach and that is my choice.


In short,

Coaching is "facilitating positive change by improving thinking"


Books that I think will help anyone get better at what they do

"Mojo" by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

"What got you here won't get you there" by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
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