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Coaching?! What is that?

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“Change Follows Focus” ~ Team GC3

It may surprise you to learn that there are approximately 71,000 coaches actively working today around the world, collectively delivering millions of hours of coaching every year. When you consider those numbers, perhaps equally surprising is that of the hundreds of managers and influencers we coach each year, very few have ever experienced real coaching before.

As a result, many people come to coaching with little or no idea what it really entails, so we thought we’d share our perspective.

First, here’s what coaching isn’t! Coaches do not offer advice, guidance, or canned solutions. We believe that you are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole, and therefore uniquely placed to identify and solve your own problems. So coaching isn’t like mentoring or consulting. In addition, coaching isn’t a therapeutic relationship focused on exploring your past and is instead typically focused on accelerating your momentum toward an ideal future.

Ok, so what is it then?! Well, coaching is defined by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the governing body of coaching worldwide as: “a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the coachee to maximize personal and professional potential. It is designed to facilitate the creation/development of personal, professional or business goals and to develop and carry out a strategy/plan for achieving those goals.”

The coaching conversations will explore the factors that impact your ability to be the best version of yourself and to fulfill your true potential. The coach will work with you, using their skills to listen intently, be relentlessly curious, ask powerful questions, offer their insights, intuition, or hypotheses, broaden perspectives and help you to gain clarity and take ownership in the areas you are exploring together. Change follows focus, and by bringing your attention to these important areas of your life, you and your coach will create the conditions for your transformation to begin.

But coaching is not just about powerful conversations. Actions taken voluntarily by you between sessions help to further your learning and to deepen your self-awareness. In coaching, there is no failure, only learning, and therefore every action and outcome will simply present new information to deepen your insights and to support the coaching conversations to come.

In their research, the ICF found that: “Professional coaching brings many wonderful benefits: fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence. And the list does not end there. Those who undertake coaching also can expect appreciable improvement in productivity, satisfaction with life and work, and the attainment of relevant goals.”

As the Coaches to many amazing, brave and inspirational people here at GC3, we can attest to all of those outcomes and many more. Coaching is not for everyone. But if you’re ready to do the hard work to unlock your true potential, it might be just what you’re looking for.

This week’s inquiry…

What would it mean to unlock your true potential?

More to enjoy…

Once you understand what coaching is, you can add it to your own leadership style to create transformational workplaces. This talk from Saba Imru Mathieu explains how.

Workplaces where humans thrive are possible!

If you’d like to dive deeper into the coaching process (from the coaches perspective), the ‘bible’ of coaching is this book by the Co-Active Training Institute. CTI are the worlds largest Coach training and certification provider, and their inspirational founders Karen and Henry Kimsey-House pretty much invented the field with this book.

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