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- Put simply, coaching is a confidential process that aims to improve an individual’s performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future.
- It’s an internationally recognized method that promotes significant personal and professional development.
- Coaching is very different from mentoring, management or therapy.
- Coaching for the purposes of this discussion, has been framed within the integral coaching model that has deep academic and philosophical roots. Integral coaching has a sound theoretical base that draws from Eastern and Western philosophy. The Integral coaching style has been taught for 30 years by one of the top teaching schools in the USA, New Ventures West (NVW).
It is one of the few and the leading coaching programmes available in South Africa that is accredited both locally through COMENSA, and internationally through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). The ICF is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.
A coach, from the integral perspective therefore:
- Appreciates the fullness of a person and works with all the elements of being human (spiritual, cognitive, emotional, relational and somatic) to facilitate lasting and meaningful change.
- Works with the client to understand their way of seeing the world and its challenges and builds new competencies to overcome them.
- Is a qualified guide who can help you increase your performance and output while simultaneously enhancing your overall quality of life.
- First and foremost, a partnership is formed between coach and client.
- Coaching creates a safe and non-judgmental space where you can address challenges and learn what needs to change in your life.
- The essential role of a coach is thus to provide a powerful learning context in which the coachee explores new distinctions that expand how they observe the world, enabling them to become more effective and powerful.
- Coaches drive towards enabling two very specific outcomes for the people they work with, namely self-correction and self-generation. This means that at the end of the coaching relationship, the coachee will be able to correct his own behavior going forward and generate solutions appropriate to him. This ensures that there is no co-dependent relationship between coach and coachee.
To better help you find the right coach, here are a few considerations for you to give some thought to:
- Is the coach qualified? There are coaches and there are coaches out there. And as you are going to be investing your time and money in your personal development, it is very important that you find out about your coaches qualification.
- What experience does the coach have? Is the coach suited to the type of coaching that you will require? For example, a life coach may not be familiar with business terms or experiences, and may not relate to your situation or needs.
- Does the coach adhere to a code of ethics such as those prescribed by one of the coaching bodies such as the ICF or COMENSA. This will indicate how serious the coach is and how committed they are to the profession.
- Where will your sessions take place? Make sure that you are comfortable with this arrangement. Restaurants or hotel lobbies can be very distracting and not provide the kind of privacy once would expect when sharing personal stories.
- How often will the sessions take place? Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions are a norm. It is important to keep the momentum of coaching going through attending regular sessions.
- What kind of support can you expect between your coaching sessions from your coach?
- Will there be practices, self-observations and exercises for you to do in-between your coaching sessions. This is highly recommended.
- Make sure to share with your coach any circumstances that could possibly be inhibiting your growth and personal development.
- Ask the coach for client referrals and testimonials and check their Facebook page and website.
- Coaching is a formal, contractual relationship between two individuals. I provide all my clients with a contract and expect the following commitment from them:
- To attend pre-planned and booked coaching sessions or reschedule well in advance if they are unable to make it.
- To actively participate in the coaching process.
- To complete any assignments committed to during the session.
- To be honest throughout the process.
- Coaching is an important investment of your time, money and energy.
- The coaching relationship is a sacred one which requires the right combination of chemistry and trust, openness and vulnerability. It can also be one of the most exciting, life-changing journeys of your life. So grab it with both hands, step in, invest, commit and get maximum value from your experience.