Coaching seems to be similar to Counselling, and I always preferred Counselling as it deals with providing direct solutions and treatments. After attending a 2-day diploma session in life coaching at Coach Transformation Academy, I started preferring Coaching over Counselling. Did my mind change, or did I find the difference between Coaching & Counselling? The answer was both: I learned about what basically the Coaching is? How it differs from other disciplines? How it works? How it creates an impact on the client? And most importantly, I gained some life experience.
What is Coaching? How it differs from other disciplines?
Coaching is a partnering in which you honor your client. It’s a future and solution-focused approach with a particular code of ethics to be followed. It’s a questioning process rather than advising. Throughout the coaching journey, coach questions in such a way that the client finds his/her solution from his/her own answers. If we talk about other disciplines like training, mentoring, consulting, counseling, therapy, they transfer or enhance processes provided with advising. As far as advising is concerned, you have to be judgmental for the process, but in coaching, a coach is bound to be purely non-judgmental.
Being non-judgmental helps in working with coachee’s agenda, single conversation at a time, being focused & creating a safe psychological environment, which is a necessity of the coaching process. Non-judgmental attitude opens you up to more of life’s beauty, positivity, clarity, and a peaceful mind.
People in this world are surely different from each other. However, they still share some common habits, likes, dislikes, desires, hobbies, memories, personality traits, etc. these common nodes create rapport (a bridge of responsiveness) between people and hence, a safe psychological environment.
Coach is the one who cares for his/her client in the selection of words as words create the world. She/he thinks accordingly, focuses completely on the client to know the client’s learning style.
We had several activities in the class that helped understand a coach’s beliefs like:
- Do not assume the client’s map. Every client has a different map, so discover it.
- The solution does exist always.
- You win, or you learn, you don’t fail.
- Everything needed to reach the destination is inside you o there must exist a positive intention for every behavior.
- If someone can do it – anyone can do it.
These beliefs make a coach extremely positive, which helps in self-reflection and hence leads to self-awareness and self-learning. In a coaching process, a coach is responsible for:
- Commitment to self-management and development.
- Developing a safe psychological environment, trust, confidence, and respect active and reflective listening.
- Curious to ask provided being non-judgmental.
- Giving unconditional positive regards.
- Considering the client to be resourceful and expert in his/her situation.
- Having a single bridge conversation.
Different activities during the session added to my learnings a lot. The activity of sharing childhood, teenage and life-changing experiences with colleagues gave me some positive vibes. I had been in the same situation in the past, so I could have done the same as my colleague. Hence, it added to my learning.
In the 2-day session, I took a personal experience of being coached by Mr. Haris Syed (Coach & Mentor). The session started with the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Suddenly a war started inside me. I am grappled between several problems like instability, dissatisfaction, loneliness, unclear future, confused about career, etc. I don’t know what to do? Where to go? What path to adopt? He started questioning so that I listed my priorities and picked up one to start from. He asked me several questions, and at some of them, I got blank like what to answer? I don’t have any answer, and there was a silent journey for a couple of minutes. But soon after, he asked the same thing in some different patterns to get me to the answer, and finally, I got aware of what is in my hand and what is not. I got a clear picture of how many paths are in front of me and how it should be best suited. The great thing was I came to know that I already knew the solution to my problem, I was just unable to recognize it. It was an utterly inexpressible feeling.
Afterward, we had a practice coaching session between colleagues of the session. I successfully coached my client, and (s)he found the solution. That moment generated a spark in me that coaching is for me.
My golden learning is, ‘no one in this world has a solution to all your problems, only you have your solutions, but the only thing you need is to recognize it.’
In a nutshell
Coaching is peering, which deals with the questioning process rather than advising to unblock the client’s potential. It is the only respectable profession that uses a client-driven approach to honor the client as the expert in his/her life. Coach has to abide by the code of ethics, beliefs of excellence, and coaching values.
Coaching is a continuous learning process that adds to the learnings of both: client & coach.