What is coaching


What is coaching?

Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training, advice and guidance.

ICF (International Coach Federation) defines “Coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.”

Coaching FAQs at ICF site also answers general questions on coaching such as

  • How can you determine if coaching is right for you?
  • How is coaching distinct from other service professions (such as consulting or mentoring)?
  • What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?
  • What has caused the tremendous growth in the coaching industry?
  • How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?
  • How long does a coach work with an individual?
  • Within the partnership, what does the coach do? The individual?

What Does a Coach Do?

A coach creates a safe environment in which people see themselves more clearly; the coach does this by listening, asking focused questions, reflecting back, challenging, and acknowledging the client; asks for more intentional thought, action, and behavior changes than the client would have asked of him or herself.

A coach may not have answers to all your problems and may not give prescriptive solutions, but helps you to see the issue from multiple perspectives and brings out your innate wisdom to solve your problems.

A coach helps you in many ways:

  • Identifies gaps between where you are and where you need or want to be. Clarifies goals and agreed-upon results.
  • Helps you develop a strong strategy and action plan to close the gap
  • Understands and anticipates potential obstacles
  • Guides the building of the structure, accountability, and support necessary to ensure sustained commitment.

Are all people coachable?

People who are committed to achieve their goals are coachable. Blamers, victims, and individuals with iron-clad belief systems may not change and coaching may not help. Issues that have deep-rooted psychological problems, which only psychotherapy can fix, are beyond the scope of coaching. Candidates, who have a fierce desire to learn and grow, get the most out of coaching.

What is the coaching process at CXO Dashboards?

The first step in the coaching process is an introductory session or a strategy session. Here you highlight what is that you are looking for, your challenges, and what is the outcome you want to have. The coach will then explain the coaching approach to address the challenge. If you like the solution, approach, and the coach’s interactions, you express your desire to be coached. At the same time, coach will also asses if you are coachable and are committed to its success. The discussions will also clarify the coaching type most appropriate for you, the number of sessions, duration, payment terms and the expectations from you. You can also clarify any other questions you may have. The first coaching session (strategy session) that takes about 30 minutes, is usually free.  After experiencing the first coaching session, you can decide to go ahead or not, with the coaching.

Once you decide to take up coaching, a contract is made that gives the scope and the terms. Coaching sessions will be conducted as per the schedule agreed. Mostly there will be weekly sessions of about 30 to 50 minutes.

Each coaching session will start with clarifying the agenda for the session and review of the progress made. Each coaching session will be a series of conversations on the current challenges and the possible solutions. Coach will be asking a number of questions that will bring client’s own insights and solutions to the problem. The action items planned will be summarized, at the end of each session. Accountability for taking action items lie with the clients, but coach will give effective follow up support.

During coaching conversations, coach will normally avoid giving advices or prescriptive suggestions, instead, will draw out insights and solutions from the client.

Coaching assignment will normally come to end on accomplishment of the goal or completion of the number of coaching sessions planned and may not go beyond the end date given in the contract. Clients may renew the coaching contract, if coaching is required for addressing new challenges.

If coaching is not progressing as planned and no remedial action working, and if any party wants to discontinue coaching, that is possible without any negative consequences.

The primary coaching approach is GROW model and the tool for Results Management is ‘Personal Dashboard’. The approach, detailed steps and the tools may vary depending on the type of package chosen, type of issues to be addressed, and the special needs of clients. The details will be conveyed during the strategy session.

The usual mode of coaching is one-on-one over calls. However retreat mode (one or two days at a stretch) and group mode (if a group is having similar challenges or goals) can also be considered.