Coaching Offers Perspective, New Ways to Think and Change in Outlook (Opinion)

by stacey mason  on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 9:26 am  

To say there is just one type of coaching is like saying there is just one kind of tree. One doesn’t adequately describe the wooded forest any more than the other sheds light on the vast number of disciplines that reside within the world of coaching.

In the broadest terms, coaching generally refers to guidance and teachings in sectors as diverse as health and wellness, fine arts, personal, life, business, career, financial and so forth. Each of those sectors has multiple subgroups producing a nearly infinite number of teaching components.

For the sake of simplicity, and to narrow the conversation to leadership development coaching within the business world, I offer up the following definition:

Coaching is an intentionally created relationship in which conversations are centered on building capacity for how one is thinking, feeling, acting, learning, leading or relating.

This capacity building is usually discussed in multiple layers:

• Self-examination takes a look at how are you wired, what you believe in and your life story.

• Team impact and leadership addresses how you get things done through others.

• Organizational results measure business performance.

• Transitional thinking looks at how you spend your time and what you think about.

While a coaching relationship can take many forms, it fundamentally consists of a few building blocks:

Confidentiality: Unfiltered dialog takes place in a safe environment based on mutual trust. There is a high degree of listening to what is being said (and not said), as well as the manner in which that information is shared. There is no judgment.

Question-based: It’s a sorting-out process by asking either a different set of questions, or unpacking the usual questions from a different perspective. The questions are what cause us to think, and it’s the thinking that allows us to grow.



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