Coaching has been around for over 50 years and has become popular globally following the pandemic and the Great Resignation. Many employees were laid off, furloughed or sadly lost their loved ones due to the COVID-19 situation. Some decided to set up a business which was their lifelong dream. Others decided that they wanted to spend more time with their children. Others still decided it was time to follow their heart. They wanted a career that would leave them feeling valued, appreciated and have job satisfaction.
Many turned to coaches as they wanted to find out how they could reach their potential sooner rather than later. Many people who were already training and mentoring employees became coaches. The rise in coaching has grown exponentially as people realise that to effect change, it all starts with themselves. Identifying and letting go of their self-limiting beliefs which have kept them stuck and unfulfilled was one main aspect of the process.
The difference between coaching and training is that coaching is person centric. The coach spends time asking the coachee powerful questions which helps them come to their own realisations. A coach will not provide the answers as they know that the answer lies within that person. Doing so will defeat the purpose as the coachee may very well take their suggestions on board. But they may soon revert to old habits as they have not come up with the solution for themselves.
Training, on the other hand, is when the trainer provides you with an agenda and the outcome. They have prepared all the material in advance and will leave it up to you to implement. Often, many people don’t implement these learnings as they haven’t fully embraced their strengths and weaknesses. The training may also not have been relevant for them! In these cases, it may have been part of the organisation’s training program and they were obliged to attend.
Coaching is not therapy either. An authentic coach will inform the coachee that they are unable to help them and will instead guide them in the right direction. Therapy focuses on deep seated traumas a person may have experienced in their childhood. They will need an expert to guide them through this delicate and emotive process. A coach will start with your current situation and help you work towards your goal. They will, however, ask you to reflect on your past as this is where your beliefs about yourself and the world would have begun.
There are many benefits to coaching people, as this is a life changing experience. A coach will help a person reach their full potential by identifying the self-limiting beliefs that have kept them feeling stuck and unfulfilled.
A coach will also help a person develop their leadership skills, boost their self-confidence and instil self-discipline.As they begin to increase their self-awareness, they will become more in tune with their thoughts and feelings. They will also notice the type of behaviour which may have had a negative impact on their team members. It will motivate them to become a better leader, which in turn, increases engagement, morale, productivity and profits.
The role of a coach is to listen actively to the coachee and put aside their own ideas or viewpoint. One of the key skills of a coach is not to be judgmental, but to ask questions from a place of curiosity. They will ask thought-provoking questions which help the coachee ‘zone into’ the area that they require support with. This will help shift their perspective as they begin to see the mental blocks they have.
A coach will also use their empathic and intuitive skills to build rapport and their relationship with the coachee. Coaching is a place where the coachee feels safe and trusts their coach as they share intimate details about their life. They do not have to go into detail about their personal life, but should be willing to share enough information to help them move forward.
Providing specific feedback helps the coachee stay on track with their goal as they now have a clear objective in mind. They will be focused and able to measure their progress based on their values, vision and purpose. A coach is also an accountability partner and will check in with the coachee to keep them motivated as well.They may face obstacles or challenges along the way, as they juggle their personal and professional life. This extra support which they may not have had before will be an asset, as they have a sounding board or external person they can speak to.
There are thousands of coaches offering face-to-face or online coaching. So, how would you know which coach to invest in? By the way, coaching is not regulated, so please be wary when choosing a coach. Often they may ask for a four or five figure investment for their services. There are also coaches who offer less for their services. As a reference, the International Coaching Federation in the USA is the golden standard for the coaching industry.
Here are three tips to help you choose your coach:
Lastly, check in with yourself to see if you have the time, energy and finances to invest in a coach. There will be days when you feel empowered and there will be days when an old memory or event may arise which could upset you. Look at your work schedule and see if you can fit in the coaching sessions. You wouldn’t want to start the program and then give up because you don’t have the space to continue. This would demoralise you and disempower you to reach your full potential. Ask a coach if they offer a break, but not too long, as you don’t want to lose momentum.
Founder and Director of FEMINACT (Females in Action), Nazlee Mayhew is also a Mindset and Inclusion Coach, Business Mentor and Speaker. She partners with emerging mid-level HR leaders to help them create inclusive workplaces. This will enable their employees to feel valued and a sense of belonging. They will also attract, recruit and retain talented people from diverse backgrounds by recognizing the biases and barriers they face. Embedding diversity and inclusiveness models into their policies, processes, and practices will help pave the way for all employees to have equal opportunities.
This is part of my entrepreneurial journey as I also help women improve their communication and interpersonal skills. By increasing their self-confidence, they will stand in their power and use their voice to speak up without fear of judgement or backlash.
Nazlee offers one-to-one coaching, group coaching and business consulting, and organises networking events for individuals and organisations. Nazlee is a certified Life Coach with The Academy of Modern Psychology (2019) and uses the International Coaching Federation’s competency framework as part of her practice.
If you’re interested to learn how you can improve your communication skills so that you can become a confident and inclusive leader, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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