“The term ‘Coach’ was initially started in 1830 and the Oxford University put forth the meaning of this term as slang for a tutor”. I recently read this in an article on the History of Coaching by Mike Morrison.
The term Coach comes from the actually horse and carriage Coaches that carried people from one place to the other literally. Today Coaching has grown in popularity and in effectiveness. There are also many styles and models of coaching just as there are many personalities of people. Ultimately Coaching is still about understanding where people are and getting clarity on where they would like to be and then giving them the tools and support to deliver them to their desired destination.
Coaching is a long term relationship, so you really need to be comfortable with your coach. It is really important to get a good fit. The power lies in the consistency, clarity and accountability of the coaching relationship.
I will speak into each area as I have seen it, as I can only speak for myself and the clients that I work with, each coaching relationship will be unique to the strengths and personalities of the coach and the client.
Consistency: The longer the coaching continues, the higher the level of trust and speed of execution. The client knows and trusts that I have their success as my main goal, I can also recognise quickly when they are stalling or avoiding and have permission to call them on it. In the beginning of this relationship this is a very tender trail as the trust is being built, but once the trust is there I am fully able to lead them in uncomfortable or challenging conversations where there is no need for defensiveness. The clients that I have worked with for the longest know the power of the consist rhythm of meeting fortnightly over many years. This consistency has formed a trusting and safe space for my clients to process and make key decisions that shape the course of their life and business. Most of my clients are busy leaders, and have a dynamic, fast pace and ever-changing landscape so the consistent fortnightly meeting is like an solid landing where they can process and make sure they are still on the right track.
Clarity: This consistent solid landing also creates a space where they get to rant if they need to, verbally expressing fears, frustrations and concerns, they get to process them in a non-judgemental, emotionally unbiased environment. For example, a business owner might be considering a really risky business move, it is too early to discuss with employees, their spouse might not understand and be swayed by the risk and the idea is still too fresh to have any substance so it might come out all wrong, who can he talk to? This is where a coach comes in, listening and allowing the stream of ideas, fears, dreams to flow and then at the end asking those critical questions that bring clarity. Most of the time, just the process of verbalising that mind storm is enough to bring clarity for my clients. We then break down what needs to be done and by when and this helps me keep them on their desired path.
Accountability: Of all the benefits I think accountability is the most significant, life and business have a way of sucking us into the whirlwind of urgent, this is what often keeps us from achieving our goals. One of my favourite quotes by Andy Stanley is “It is not your intention, but your direction that determines your destination.” We all have great intentions, we can even have them written down on a beautifully made up goal list, but if we are not paying attention to the often Important but not urgent steps that actually lead us to those goals, we are so easily seduced into the busy whirlwind where someone else's urgent directs us. Coaching provides the accountability to keeping the main thing the main thing. Just knowing that they are going to report back how things are going is powerful to help my clients make the right choices when distraction and avoidance are tempting them towards a different path.
There are many other benefits that I could write about, but these are the three key areas where coaching is powerful. If you are feeling that weight of a busy and successful life, and know that there is so much more but you are feeling the constraints of time and responsibility I would highly recommend identifying a coach that you can work with. You need to find someone who you feel comfortable with and that you share similar values. Remember all the top sportsman, who are talented and motivated understand the value of inviting someone who can take them from where they are to where they want to be, why shouldn’t you benefit from this?
Find your success partner today. The investment into yourself will be worth it. As Robin S Sharma says, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.”