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What Makes Coaching Work?

  • EXPERTISE: The coach has knowledge, skills and expertise, and she uses them to increase the client’s level of effectiveness in several domains:
    1. the client’s ability to make productive decisions;
    2. the client’s capacity to set goals that are both far-reaching and manageable;
    3. the client’s readiness and willingness to go beyond the ‘comfort zone’ in accomplishing these goals.
    As a result, an expansion of productivity and fulfillment is made possible in the area of focus (career, personal, transition, etc.).

  • STRUCTURE: While working with a coach, clients are more likely to take ground-breaking action, to ‘think bigger’ and to stay focused on taking the follow-up steps necessary to achieve their goals. This is so because the coach brings both unflagging motivation and enhanced accountability into the picture.

  • TEAMWORK: A client and coach who work together become a team which focusses on the client’s desires, values and goals. Consequently, clients are less likely to be stopped by either external obstacles or self-limitations of any kind.

  • COLLABORATIVE EFFORT: This is the essence of coaching. This collaborative effort augments the client’s talents and motivation. It also provides support and encouragement at times when, if left to their own devices, the clients would get discouraged, procrastinate, take partial action, or even give up altogether.

When is Coaching Most Useful?

Coaching is always useful. This is the reason that successful athletes, performers and artists consistently work with coaches to raise their levels of achievement. However, coaching is significantly more crucial when you identify one of the following:
  • You see, in a specific area of your life, a gap between what your goals and abilities lead you to expect and the actual level of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  • You sense that you have reached a plateau, or you feel stuck at a certain level and need support in moving to a new level.
  • You are facing a life/career/personal Transition of some kind. (Caution: ‘happy’ transitions such as marriage are as challenging as the ‘unhappy’ ones).
To really benefit from coaching, the person being coached ought to have some degree of interest in changing ‘The Way I Always Do It’; in examining ways to learn from mistakes or failures; in taking the next step in one's personal or professional life trying out new and possibly uncomfortable approaches; in sticking with it long enough to see the effects of what has been learned and applied.

[Next: How Coachable are You?]


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