Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!
– Attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Coaching is, above all, a change process. The coach and the client work together to help the client move closer to a desired future, by building on strengths and values, and minimizing gaps or weaknesses.
Coaching is a “helping profession” that is distinct from other helping roles, such as therapy, counselling, mentoring, teaching, management, consulting and so on. Coaching is unique in that the coach works with the client, on equal footing. The client is not broken, but rather the client is creative, resourceful and whole. The client is also seen as the expert in his or her own situation in life and work.
The coach does not need to “fix” the client. The coach is not the “expert”. The coach does, however, come to the coaching relationship with particular training that allows the coach to ask powerful questions and to listen intently to the client – to the client’s words and to the client’s emotions. The coach acts as a mirror for the client, and works with the client to deepen the insight and forward the positive movement.
The image below shows Richard E. Boyatzis’ self-directed learning model, and this is an excellent model for explaining coaching.
Clients typically come to coaching because they are unsatisfied with something that is going on currently – the client often has a vision of how they would prefer for the situation to unfold, and how they would rather be and act in that situation. Working with the coach, the client can more clearly define My Ideal Self.
The client also typically has a pretty good handle on who they are now: My Real Self, complete with strengths and gaps. Again, working with the coach, the client will gain better insights into his or her values and strengths, which are the building blocks for coaching.
The coach and the client work together through the Learning Agenda – helping the client to build on strengths and reduce the gaps. As Peter Drucker commented in his book The Effective Executive, effective executives build on strengths and make weaknesses irrelevant. Many studies have been done showing that building on your strengths is more productive and success-enhancing than overcoming weaknesses and trying to learn something that is a struggle to you, or trying to be someone that you are not. Working with a coach provides individualized support in these areas – specific to you and your situation.
In the coaching conversation, the client usually comes up with a new action – something that he or she would like to try. This is the Experimentation and the client tries these “experiments” in the real world – doing something different in a meeting, acting differently in the face of a stimulus, and so on. When the result of the new action is success, that is, it produces something that the client was wanting, then the client will Practice to Mastery.
All of this change process unfolds supported by Resonant Relationships, which include the coach, and may also include people such as partners, family, friends, work colleagues, and anyone else in the client’s life as the client chooses.
Change, of course, is not a linear process. The coaching relationship is co-designed with the client to meet the client’s specific needs. Coaching can be done in person or on the phone. Coaching can be done on a weekly basis or less frequently. Coaching sessions can be between 30 minutes and two hours. The coach and the client work together to create the best possible scenario to help the client move closer to the desired future.
If this sounds like a process that is of interest to you, please contact LVS Consulting for more information, including rates and packages.