Coaching – Technique du jour?, or powerful business tool?

How coaching can help you, your team and your business…

The world is changing ever faster and mobile devices continue to drive the ‘always on, always available’ mentality of people and organizations. It is not surprising that with the increasing pressure on people, at work and outside of work, that the ‘Helping Sciences’ (therapists, counsellors, wellbeing practitioners, …) have become more evident, more plentiful and more available than ever before, to help people cope with the pressure, and to try and find space and purpose in their lives.

Each of these disciplines has it’s place and trained, experienced practitioners can help people deal with issues and problems affecting their wellbeing.

So what about coaching? Firstly, let’s be clear about what coaching isn’t! Coaching is NOT Counselling, Mentoring, Therapy or Consulting! A coach works with a client to help them achieve their goals by helping them clarify those goals, commit to them, identify barriers and work out how to overcome them.

With coaching we help our clients to unlock their potential by enabling and encouraging them to describe, develop and deliver their goals, through a guided, structured approach. The following quote from a famous sage, puts it quite nicely:

‘The problem is not the problem, your attitude to the problem is the problem!’ – Captain Jack Sparrow!

Even the most successful people have times when they feel ‘stuck’. Stuck on a big business issue (‘How can I double my turnover?’), stuck on a personal issue (‘Why can’t I find time to go to the gym?’), and so on. A coach can apply their experience, skills, tools and techniques to help a person become ‘unstuck’. This often involves understanding how the client has framed the issue, why they chose to use that particular frame and helping them to see the issue from different perspectives.

Often, we unconsciously arrive at a position and close our minds to alternatives. A coach has the tools to help us understand and overcome our ‘negative inner-mind chatter’ and to unlock our minds to see things differently, understand why we’re stuck and open the door to finding a way forward.

The same approach and techniques can be used with equal effectiveness on personal or work related issues. The basis for the coaching intervention is helping a coachee to raise their awareness of the issue and the impact of their perspective on how the issue presents, to understand what a good outcome ‘looks like’, to identify the options to achieve the desired outcome, and to take personal responsibility for making the necessary change in themselves to reach the desired outcome.  This approach also works in a team environment and can help a team to resolve issues that have, perhaps, got in the way of the team being as effective as it could be.

Coaching is certainly not a panacea, but it is an effective approach to help people see things in a more positive and constructive manner, and understand how a change in our own perspective and approach can overcome a great deal of life’s challenges and obstacles.

Perhaps we could all benefit from getting more in touch with our inner Jack Sparrow! …

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