What is coaching? What does it involve? How is it helpful? Do I need a life coach?
These are a few questions that have been posed to me quite often. Let me try and answer these questions.
Through coaching, I help a client discover himself or herself via self-exploration. I facilitate this process through our rapport and my presence. During this process, I remain mindful while listening to the client; gently prodding them with my questions. I help the client explore themselves to create self-awareness, ultimately leading them towards their own solutions.
During our initial meeting, my client and I sit down to discuss and understand their situation. I identify the client’s desired outcome. Then, after mutual consent, I chalk out a schedule which is achievable for both of us.
As a coach, I help people progress forward. I set up personal and professional goals that will give them the life and career that they truly want. As a rule, most clients are healthy, successful people who might be stuck in a rut or merely want to make a significant change in their lives and need the support of a coach while doing so.
Now that you have understood what a coach does. Let me tell you a few things which a coach never does. A coach does not tell, nor does he/she prescribe. A coach does not offer solutions. Neither does he/she use past experience and current expertise to propose solutions to a client.
I believe that coaching isn’t just about the destination, it’s also about the journey. Along this road, the clients are able to discover themselves and find solutions to his/her problems. Since the client has discovered these solutions on their own, it is possible for them to accept these solutions and remain accountable for them.
While it is true that coaching relates to the past, what is equally true is that it does not dwell on the past. Coaching merely generates awareness about something which has happened in the past. Something which doesn’t just condition our current behaviour, but also affects our future.
Coaching lets the client reflect on how their past conditioning has restricted them, without entering the realm of relieving therapy. A coach focuses on the future and the consequences. He helps the client overcome his/her limitations about their existing boundaries and free themselves to progress towards a focused outcome in the future.
But, let me be clear! Coaches don’t work on past-based problems or address old traumas. Life coaches are not psychologists, neither are they psychotherapists. Coaching cannot replace a visit to a psychiatrist. If you have experienced a trauma or have lost someone, it is important to seek professional help. It is incorrect to assume that coaching and therapy are interchangeable!
As a coach, I either work with a client through one-on-one sessions or via group sessions to help identify and achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter if choices you are making in your life are big or small. I believe that all choices are meant to be fulfilled! After all, what’s the point of taking risk for making your own choice, if we don’t work towards making them a reality?
By Pallavi Tamboli (Consultant with IndusGuru Network Partners)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of IndusGuru Network Partners
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