The great benefit of coaching is that you are very likely to see quick, positive results as an outcome. This is because coaching is participative and people tend to learn and adopt new habits more easily when they are actively engaged in the learning process. As soon as a coaching session ends you can implement a new practice.
The process is entirely devoted to you – your issues and the attainment of new behaviour goals. One great point about coaching is that it takes place over an extended period of time. Which means the process will be constantly challenged and encouraged to work on issues that need improvement.
By constantly doing better you practise good habits and the more you practise – the more natural it becomes to automatically change and improve your behaviours. But, before we start looking at the specific benefits, let’s look at its definition.
Definition of Coaching
Coaching has been defined in many ways, but generally it is
- To help a person change in the way they wish and helping them go in the direction they want to go.
- To support a person at every level in becoming who they want to be.
- To build awareness and to empower choice which then leads to changes.
It unlocks a person’s potential to maximise their performance. Coaching helps them to learn rather than teaching them.
Coaching has traditionally been associated with sports. Every top athlete has a coach. In the last few years, coaching has become applicable in every area, in business and in every aspect of life as well as sport.
Now, it is quite normal for someone to see a coach to help them achieve their goals in their life and work. Coaching is a partnership between coach and client. The coach helps the client to achieve their personal best and to produce the results they want in their personal and professional lives. Coaching ensures the client can give their best, learn and develop in the way they wish. The coach need not be an expert in their clients’ field of work.
Let’s look at some of the other similar activities to distinguish coaching from these activities.
Mentoring is when a senior colleague, seen as more knowledgeable and worldly wise gives advice and provides a role model. Mentoring involves wide ranging discussions that may not be limited to the work context. A mentor is a sponsor with great professional experience in their client’s field of work. Both mentoring and coaching are concerned mainly with achievements in the present and the future.
Counselling is working with a client who feels uncomfortable, or dissatisfied with their life. They are seeking guidance and advice. A counsellor works remedially on a client’s problem.
Therapy is working with the client who seeks relief from psychological or physical symptoms. The client wants emotional healing and relief from mental pain. Therapy deals with the client’s mental health. Coaching deals with the client’s mental growth. The client’s motive for entering therapy or counselling is usually to get away from pain or discomfort, rather than moving towards desired goals. Coaching is not remedial, it is generative. Both therapy and counselling are more likely to involve understanding and working with past experience than coaching.
Training is the process of getting knowledge skills or abilities by study, experience or teaching. The trainer by definition is the expert, and the training course is likely to be targeted on specific skills for immediate results. Training is also likely to be one to many rather than one to one.
A consultant provides expertise and solves business problems, or develops a business as a whole. A consultant deals with the overall organisation or specific parts of it and not individuals within it. Consultants only indirectly affect individuals.
Teaching passes knowledge from teacher to student. The teacher knows something the student does not. The opposite is true in coaching – the client is the expert and the client has the answers, not the coach.
Benefits of Coaching
Now we have a better understanding of what coaching is and is not, let’s look at the specific benefits:
Benefits to individuals:
- Improvement in individual’s performance, targets and goals
- Increased openness to personal learning and development
- Increased ability to identify solutions to specific work-related issues
- Greater ownership and responsibility
- Development of self-awareness
- Improvement of specific skills or behaviour
- Greater clarity in roles and objectives
- The opportunity to correct behaviour/performance difficulties
Benefits to an organisation:
- Allows fuller use of individual’s talents/potential
- Demonstrates commitment to individuals and their development
- Higher organisational performance/productivity
- Increased creativity, learning and knowledge
- Motivates people
- Facilitates the adoption of a new culture/management style
- Improves relationships between people and departments
There are real benefits to individuals and organisation in coaching. We cover coaching in the following courses:
Implementing Learning Programmes
Change Management – Intro
Change Management – Advanced
Planning a Super User Network
Training Skills for Better Performance
If you want to know more about coaching, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org