What’s the Deal with Coaching?

So what is coaching anyway? I recently read a brief, well written article on Executive Coaching by Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, professional coach, author  and  PhD in organizational psychology  that I believe applies beautifully to  all kinds  of coaching.  To answer the question “what is coaching?”, I’ve included some highlights from his piece in this week’s post.

 “When it comes to defining coaching, the International Coach Federation (ICF) states that coaching is about “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, ” according to Woodward. He also interviews two nationally known executive coaches in the article, Dr. Relly Nadler and Dr. Marcia Reynolds.  

Nadler, executive coach and author of Leading with Emotional Intelligence, says that coaching is about “bringing more depth and focus to particular challenges,” and that those in leadership roles often need “a thinking partner for support and guidance” when dealing with complex people issues. Nadler clarified that “coaching is not a makeover” and is not intended as a way to make wholesale changes in one’s character or personality.   

Executive coach and author of Wander Woman, Reynolds, told Woodward that she has “found that coaching is more about defining the goal than finding a solution. People start by telling me what they want. But what they really want is tied to having more of or less of something important or threatening to them.” In other words, their struggle is partly about first defining the challenge. “Once their true goal is on the table, the solution is obvious. The sudden, new and amazing solution to a problem arises when you shine a light on the truth.”

Both Nadler and Reynolds agree that coaching boils down to one simple concept: accessing a “thought partner”.  As Reynolds points out, “most people already have the answers to their problems. It’s just that the problems are masking what they really need to solve.”

Woodward’s article concludes with the idea that working with an executive coach is about bringing clarity to an issue and then developing a plan of action to tackle it.     He closes by saying, “We are all victims of living in our own heads and at times we all need help getting perspective. It’s not easy to evaluate ourselves, which is why there is so much value in having that thought partner bring perspective to our internal conversations.”    Thanks to Woodward for his excellent article and insight.  Read his full article here.

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Date: Sunday, 12. December 2010 19:12
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Career & Finance, Uncategorized, Wellness

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