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The Inspiration for Coaching
“Everyone needs a coach…with no feedback, no coaching, there’s just no way to improve.” (Bill Gates, Founder Microsoft)
It has been suggested that people come to coaches for two main reasons: the first reason is inspiration, while the second reason is desperation. The implication of this view point is that ‘inspired’ people would essentially want a coach to help them to perform better, while ‘desperate’ people would normally want a coach to help them get out of a problem urgently.
It is reasonable to assume that the inspired client would benefit more from coaching, and be better focused on future gains than the desperate client needing a quick fix.
While coaching is applicable to virtually every situation and circumstances of human endeavour, it is important to sound the warning that coaching should not be seen only as a recommended therapy for the “bad” and “ugly”. Coaching is also for the “good” and “beautiful”.
The baseline idea of coaching is that in life, each of us needs someone that would help us along the way. We all need someone who will not judge us when we fail, but rather encourage us when we tend to falter.
We all need someone that believes in us and can inspire us to greater performance, simply by helping us to set realistic goals and is there to refocus us each time so that we achieve the goals.
We all need someone that can spot our potentials and assist us to nurture these potentials to yield positive results. We all need someone that would be there for us as a confidential and trusted sounding board, so that we can take decisions more confidently and make certain crucial moves assuredly.
We all need someone who has possibly gone through what we are going through and so can share of his experiences and knowledge to help us along the way. And, sometimes we need someone who has some special skills that are needful for us to achieve special goals.
All of these describe some of the most common scenarios in which a professional coach would normally operate. There are however two important points that must be understood concerning professional coaching. The first is that the coach, although qualified to guide his client to make excellent decisions, never takes over the decision- making process.
Specifically, the coach would do more of asking relevant and guiding questions that will enable a client to make his or her decisions. The responsibility of decision-making and follow-on actions rests entirely with the client. In professional coaching, the client is the one with the answers and not the coach.
The client is the one that sets and achieves his goals and therefore takes full responsibility and credit for the goal achievement. In the entire process, the coach is there primarily to facilitate a desired change or a specific outcome for the client.
The second important point about coaching is that the coach must be absolutely confidential. In professional coaching, confidentiality is paramount, in order to encourage trust, openness and mutual respect.
Without trust, the coaching process is compromised and the coach would not be able to assist the client to reach a desired goal. If either of them feels uncomfortable in any way due to a possible breach of confidentiality the desired results may not materialise.
This is a critical issue to note, especially because the coach has to rely on the willingness of the client to freely and confidently share his plans, programmes, expectations, thoughts, fears, needs, anxieties, decisions, feelings etc. In a number of cases these issues may not even be directly related to the main coaching focus. An experienced coach would however understand how all of these fit into the bigger picture and help the client to utilise such for the eventual end result.
A coach gently and when needed, firmly facilitates you to find your own answers. And this is exactly what makes it such a powerful and sustainable intervention. Coaching enables you to have ownership of your solutions because you are not given advice that worked for somebody else, which in most instances won’t work in your unique situation. Yet, attaining success remains the end goal for everyone.