Just What Is Coaching, Anyway?

What is coaching

One of the most frequently used – and yet poorly defined – terms in the entrepreneurial world these days is “coaching.” 

You’ll hear lots of people describe themselves as a coach and you’ll hear a lot of people (myself included!) talking about the importance of having a coach. 

But let’s take a step back and define what is coaching (and what it’s not) so we’re all on the same page!

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a process of helping someone discover and develop his or her unique abilities and gifts. The goal is to help improve performance in a specific area.

It’s important to know that coaching is not counseling, though some coaches may help you dig into your past. However, it’s done with a specific purpose of helping you to identify and overcome things like limiting beliefs you have about your abilities.

What is a Coaching Session Like?

Thanks to the amazing technology at our fingertips, there can be some diversity of answers to the question, “what is coaching?”

Once upon a time, you were pretty much limited to the coaches in your areas and their specific philosophies of coaching.

Thanks to the internet, especially things like Skype, it’s possible to arrange a virtual meeting with a coach anywhere in the world! 

No matter how the meeting is carried out, what a coaching session looks like is usually a very conversational, relaxed type of encounter.

In these coaching conversations, the coach usually has the goal of helping the person being coached to discover the best answers and solutions for him or herself.  We all do better implementing solutions that we’ve come up with for ourselves, and a coach intentionally facilitates this process. 

A coach might help someone in the following areas:

  • Identifying the client’s own professional and/or personal goals (not telling them what their goals should be)
  • Discerning his or her own strengths and weaknesses that might apply to achieving the self-identified goals
  • Helping the client to identify and implement appropriate strategies to achieve goals
  • Provide feedback and accountability in the process of achieving the goals the client has identified

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of the work a coach does is calling forth answers, goals, and solutions from within the client.

So you might be asking why you’d need a coach in the first place if it’s already inside?

It’s a good question, and it’s one I answered in depth last week.  But for the short answer, here’s an analogy.

Athletes who use a coach have the abilities to achieve a particular level of performance. They might not exactly know how to develop those abilities, but they have the muscles, flexibility, coordination, and endurance – they just need to figure out how to combine those things to achieve greater results. 

So a coach comes along who can observe from the outside and see if they’re unintentionally preventing themselves from accomplishing what they want. Or maybe they need more encouragement to believe they can surpass a current plateau, and so forth.

Does that make sense?

In your business, coaching gives you a fresh pair of eyes to look at what you’re doing from the outside, help you identify how to get to the next level of achievement, and identify (and help you overcome) any unintentional ways you’re sabotaging yourself.  And that last part is a whole topic in and of itself!

What’s held you back from working with a coach to achieve the next level of success in your business? Leave a comment below!

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