In this post, I’ll give you my answer to the commonly asked question; what is coaching?
That’s usually the response I get from most of my friends and family when I tell them what I do for a living.
I guess that’s because most of them still don’t understand what I do, but want to avoid appearing stupid or ignorant by asking for further clarification.
Don’t worry friends, I won’t hold it against you 😉
I suppose a lot of the confusion comes down to the fact that I’ve always been an entrepreneur with my nose in a mixture of industries and businesses before I got into coaching.
I started off as a sales person, moved into sales management before starting up my own advertising agency. I then got the opportunity to fulfil my dream of becoming a sales trainer, which ultimately led me to discover my true passion for coaching.
So what is coaching?
When I say I am a professional coach you can be forgiven for automatically thinking about a football coach, which most people do.
However, a football coach is more like a trainer than a coach, or at least that’s how most people see them anyway.
Coaching is more about listening and asking questions than giving direction and instructions.
So let’s say Pete down the road is struggling with his confidence or is feeling really anxious or stressed out all the time. Pete might go to Google and search for ‘how to reduce stress’ or ‘How to increase confidence’.
He’ll then go to my website, read about my coaching and sign up to one of my private coaching plans.
What happens in coaching sessions?
Most of my coaching is done over the phone so I’ll call Pete at the scheduled time and begin a confidential one-to-one conversation.
In this session, I’ll get to know Pete and try to get an understanding of his problems.
Now, this is the point where I start to feel like I need to defend myself because people often ask “So you get paid for just listening to someone bang on about their problems?”
Well, not quite.
A coach can be very effective if they’re a good listener, but a coach who is also brilliant at asking questions is worth their weight in gold.
You see, I believe every single person has the resources available to solve their own problems. But unless I ask the right kind of questions, that wouldn’t be possible and my clients wouldn’t make much progress.
So when Pete says to me “I really don’t know what to do, I don’t know why I feel so stressed all the time”, I might then ask a very simple and somewhat stupid sounding question like; “So what is it exactly that makes you feel stressed, Pete?”
The reason I’d ask this kind of question is that I’ve recognised straight away that Pete has something called a limiting belief.
In this case, the limiting belief is that Pete doesn’t know what to do and also that he doesn’t know why he gets stressed.
Now, apart from what Pete’s told me since the start of the coaching session, I don’t know much about him.
So, how am I supposed to help him answer these questions if he doesn’t even know the answers?
But does Pete really not know the answer to these questions?
Coaching gives the brain the oxygen it craves
One of the most valuable elements of coaching is that it really helps you increase self-awareness.
Taking the time to sit down and have a conversation about your daily challenges and goals will really help you see more clearly.
Pete might spend from dusk until dawn rushing around trying to get his kids to school and get himself to work on time to complete his workload.
He might then rush home, help his wife get the kids to bed and drop in his own bed shortly after.
At some point in his day (probably multiple), Pete realises he is feeling stressed but because he’s so busy he just tells himself he’s really stressed but doesn’t know why or what to do about it.
In reality, Pete knows exactly why he is stressed and when I help him pull that information out of the back of his mind we can then work together to come up with a strategy for how to reduce that stress.
Happy Pete. Happy Me.
As simple as I made that sound, it normally takes at least 60-minutes and 20+ questions before I can start working with a client on the beginning of an action plan to overcome their problems or achieve their goals.
The first most important step is to raise my client’s self-awareness of their situation by asking them lots of questions.
Depending on what the topic of conversation is and how serious the situation is, it can take multiple sessions before some clients can start making real progress.
But coaching requires immense patience.
One of the most difficult and important rules of coaching is not to provide your client with the answers because in order to believe it’s true they must find the answers for themselves.
But the end-result for most clients can mean a huge change in their life because unresolved issues can become crippling over time and can lead to serious mental and physical health issues.
So what is it exactly that you do again, Dave?
Well, if you still don’t get it then here’s a list of things I have helped people with recently;
#1 – I helped a lady realise she was really unhappy and was in the wrong job.
She quit within a few weeks to fulfil her dream of self-employment and to start working on writing her own book.
#2 – I helped a lady overcome her fear of being fired and overcome a host of limiting beliefs that were causing her to underperform in her role.
She went on to smash her targets the following month and was walking around with a smile on her face feeling confident again for the first time in a long time.
#3 – I helped a young man better manage his anger issues and realise how childish he was being in front of his colleagues.
He went from being on his last warning to gaining a managerial promotion less than 12 months later.
#4 – I helped a man control his anger issues by realising where the issues came from and how they were impacting his life.
He is now able to control his temper in very testing situations and avoid any further physical fights with his partner.
#5 – I helped the CEO of a fast-growing startup company realise he was taking the company in the completely opposite direction than what he wanted to.
He quickly got the company back on track and they were acquired 3-years later for a very pleasing amount of money.
Can I help you or anyone you know?
These are just a small few examples of the results I have helped people to achieve during the past 10+ years.
I’m trained in how to work with people on a number of issues including stress, anxiety, anger, careers and I’m also trained in how to help people set and achieve goals and achieve success.
So, if you or anyone you know could benefit from help in any of these areas then please get in touch or refer them to my website.
Thanks for reading.