The coaching journey begins with information gathering and assessment. What is your current situation? How did you get there? What would you like to change? In this phase, you'll build a new awareness of your strengths and challenges, the limiting beliefs that may be holding you back, and the new possibilities that are open to you.
The next phase of our coaching journey is to explore and envision the future you want. Which values are most important to you? What outcome will harmonize with your values, and what goals will you need to achieve along the way to create your desired outcome? From this, we will build a plan to get you from where you are today to where you want to be.
Once we have created your plan, we will work together as you put it into practice and develop new behaviors. We will address any challenges you're encountering, discuss strategies for handling them, and celebrate your wins. The outcome of this phase is a new and sustainable way of tackling challenges and moving your life forward.
We often are swept up in the day-to-day demands of a job, tackling a never-ending "to do" list and putting out fires. Consequently, rarely do we take the time to assess and plan our career progress. Years down the road, you may find that without realizing it, you have drifted to a place you never intended to be. Coaching can help you think strategically about your career, take charge of its course, and make conscious choices that align with your objectives.
Three major factors that can derail a career are poor or strained interpersonal relationships, an inability to hear and accept feedback, and the challenges of working with a team. These skills are not taught in professional degree programs, yet they are critical to sustainable success. While training and mentoring can help in these areas, professional coaching is the most effective way you can grow these complex and nuanced interpersonal skills.
In today's rapidly changing business environment, professionals often find themselves in positions demanding skills and abilities beyond those for which they were trained and educated. You can hone these skills, such as change management, team dynamics, client relations, and leadership, most effectively in a coaching environment that is tailored to your unique strengths and personality.
Our individual perspectives develop over time based on our accumulated knowledge and experiences. It acts as a lens through which we view and evaluate the world. While this lens is often helpful, it can also be detrimental. We may get stuck in our views and be unable to see a problematic situation as anything other than hopeless. As Albert Einstein once said, "you can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it." Coaching allows you to gain new perspectives by posing thought-provoking questions and challenging hidden beliefs.
No matter how much we want something, old behaviors and habits can prevent us from achieving our goals. While we hold on to habits that served us at some point, spotting and changing those habits when they no longer serve us can be extremely difficult. In fact, they often impede or block our progress without us even knowing it. In a safe coaching environment, you can identify and unlearn old habits and replace them with new, more effective behaviors through exploration and practice.
At critical junctures in our lives, we are presented with opportunities to take actions that make us uncomfortable. These may include speaking in public, taking a new job, or having a difficult conversation. By playing it safe and avoiding these situations, we can miss valuable opportunities for advancement and growth. Coaching creates a supportive environment that can give you the skills and courage to move out of your comfort zone, take well-considered risks, and accomplish things you never thought you could.
Therapy/Counseling: Therapy and counseling seek to address pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or between two people in a relationship. Often, the focus is on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual's or couple's emotional functioning in the present. Coaching, on the other hand, focuses on future actions based on self-initiated change and assumes that the client is whole and capable at the outset.
Consulting: Individuals and organizations retain consultants for their subject-matter expertise. While consulting approaches vary, the premise is that the consultant will diagnose problems, identify causes, and prescribe solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that clients are capable of generating their own diagnoses and solutions while the coach supplies supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks to enable such work.
Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. Conversely, coaching does not include advising or counseling. Instead, it is a partnership of equals focused on helping clients to set and reach their own objectives.
Athletic Development: Typically, an athletic coach is an expert who guides and directs the behavior of players or teams based on greater experience and knowledge than those being coached. While career coaches possess these qualities, it is the experience and knowledge of the client that determines the direction of the work. Additionally, career coaching, unlike athletic development, focuses on identifying opportunities for development based on individual strengths and capabilities, not on skills or behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly.