In the journey to success, “going with the flow” is considered the best route until you’re at a crossroads, not sure which way to go. Robert Frost might prompt you to take the road less travelled, which modern day motivators have translated to the tougher route. But what if it doesn’t have to be? What if you’re looking at tough all wrong?
Coaching is a mechanism in which you can question such ideas and reinvent the wheel, to what suits you best. To make the process less daunting, you’re paired with a warm-fuzzy human better known as a coach. While the International Coaching Federation defines a coach as “your partner in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires you to maximise your personal and professional potential”, a coach is essentially that voice in your head pushing you towards your dreams. Only, instead of inside, this voice takes the form of a human and exists beside you in a safe space free of judgement and inhibition.
It doesn’t matter which stage of success you’re in. A coach is your guide to achieve the self-actualisation goals which are currently contributing to the greying of your hair, with a little less stress and a little more fun! You decide the destination, you pick the route, and your coach walks alongside helping you make the journey as scenic as possible.
Rules of the Game: What a coach does and does not
|What a coach does||What a coach does not|
|Allows you to chart your own path so you can think more holistically and contribute to your own learning and development||Become an advisor, mentor, consultant or a subject matter expert|
|Facilitates a process of improving self-awareness through careful non-judgmental listening and powerful questioning||Impose their personal values, thoughts or beliefs on you|
|Becomes your partner in a journey who helps you take stock of your current situation, explore strategies and helps you think about execution of these strategies through specific actions||Tell you what to do or chooses a topic for you to discuss|
|Creates a deeper awareness of the relevance of your goals in the context of your life and how to get inspired by them||Limit your ability to explore and go beyond what your original goals for the process were|
|Creates a safe space without judgement or evaluation||Judge you, restrict your thinking, place limitations on your views or opinions|
|Lets you set your own priorities and agenda; is a facilitator through the process||Suggest a plan or action steps that are unrelated to your goals and objectives in the coaching process|
|Lets you set your own priorities and agenda; is a facilitator through the process||Helps releases your inner energy so you can realise your potential|
Organisations invest in mentorship and manager development programmes enabling deserving candidates to overcome their shortcomings in a safe space. However, the differentiating factor between mentorship and coaching is the control it allows you. Mentors, while experienced, can help expand your horizons through their learnings. Their perspective coupled with organisational goals, will often skew the process of your discovery. Similarly, aspiring leaders stuck in a rut often seek mental help to battle burnout and emotional insecurities. Therapy can help you meet emotional balance and make you a better human, which, in turn can help you grow in life. This process sometimes involves advice and guidance being given, which might not tally with your idea of life.
Coaching serves as your own space. Here, you’re the decision maker of your own journey. The coach is your safety net – enabling you to build a balanced personal and professional life. A coach uses strong questioning to help you deepen your self-awareness. The lack of judgement and ideals is the cherry on top, for you can share your wildest dreams with your coach and they’ll be adventurous enough to accompany you in the journey.
Mentor v/s Therapist v/s Coach
|Based on own values, experience and knowledge||Licensed mental and physical health professional||Creates a safe space to engage in open conversations that trigger self-awareness|
|Advice led approach||Specialises in helping clients develop better cognitive and emotional skills||Extends support through powerful questioning, genuine curiosity, and careful listening|
|Normally provides guidance and motivation as a role model||Offers non-directive advice and suggestions through treatment||A non-judgemental trusted equal partner|
|Largely limited to career and work as a senior||Allows you to choose your own course of action|
Coaching is essentially a conversation which you have with yourself alongside your unbiased, non-judgemental thinking partner (aka your coach) to discover your heart’s deepest desires and silence the demons holding you back from achieving them.
As highly educated, always on, on-the-go individuals, we often lose track of attaining true happiness, until we hit a snafu and all hell breaks loose. Even then, most of us just shove it under the carpet and keep going. On bad days, maybe we’ll fight with our family or block that terribly annoying but dear friend. Life goes on, as do we. But what if it doesn’t have to be so catastrophic?
Find out by hiring a coach on NewVer.Me