Whether at work, or through conversations with friends, or from the media, it is very likely that you’ve heard about coaching. It is not very surprising given the profession is one of the fastest growing in the world! So, is coaching just another buzz word? Or is it a developing trend based on a value-added method?
To answer the question lets first start with some history. The discipline of coaching has actually been around since the 19th century and was first introduced at Oxford University where the term ‘coach’ was used to describe a tutor who was ‘carrying’ a student through their exams. Later on, coaching found its way to the sports arena in order to assist athletes in enhancing their performance. Since the mid 90’s, the discipline of coaching has known a significant growth, with the profession tripling in the past 10 years alone.
Nowadays, you can find a coach for literally every aspect of your life, whether it’s wellness, career growth, or skills development, just to name a few. In order to understand the current impact of Coaching, let’s look at numbers. As reported by the International Coaching Federation, individuals who undertook coaching noted a positive improvement on the following areas:
70% improved work performance
61% Improved Business management
80% Improved self-confidence
73% Improved relationship
Additionally, 86% of companies said they made their investment back from coaching, and 96% clients said they would repeat the process if given the opportunity!
So now that we know that coaching works, the next and most important question is: what can coaching do for you? To answer this, we should first consider the moments when one would benefit from coaching. Throughout life and its many challenges, we all face uncertainties and doubts and the questions we ask ourselves will differ depending on where we stand. They may look a little (or a lot) like this:
As a Professional: I am not happy with my job, I don’t know what I want to do but I know that ‘this’ is not it? I’m having issues with my Manager (or co-workers) and I am not sure how to deal with it? I’ve been asked to develop my communication skills but have no clue how to go about it?
As an Entrepreneur: Do I have it in me to lead a company? How can I be a better leader? I am swamped with the day-to-day operations and I can’t seem to focus on the bigger picture! Am I working effectively?
As a C-level executive: How can I be a great example and inspire the organization under me? How do I cope with the various pressures I face at the top? Who can I use as a sounding board,? How can I stay ahead of the game and upgrade my skills? I just got promoted into this role, how can I accelerate my job transition?
As a Student: I am about to graduate, and am confused and anxious about what to do next! Which direction should I go? I am not sure what is the right fit for me, what should I major in?
Answers to such questions rarely come easily, but are still paramount as they can have a tremendous impact on our lives and undoubtedly shape our future. Do you need a coach to help answer these? Well, surely you’ve found yourselves discussing these issues with family, friends and/or partners. However, while sharing our doubts with individuals who are closest to us is natural and comforting, it can be tricky at times and not entirely impartial. On the other hand, talking to an unbiased external party with a fresh perspective and no personal agenda can very often be an eye opener.
So, how does coaching help? Coaching is a proven, effective and interactive method that will help you to get from where you are to where you want to be. And how is this done? Through using specific questioning techniques and assessment tools, coaching helps in giving you a clearer perspective on both the present and the future, identify the gaps, and ultimately assist you in finding solutions to bridge them.
What are the benefits? Coaching will trigger in you reflection and self-awareness, two essential qualities for any form of development and learning. These will form the cornerstone of an internal framework that you will use to get past challenging situations, to affect change within yourself, and to grow, both personally and professionally. However, for coaching to be effective you need to want it!
If you ask us, ‘who needs a coach?’ we would answer, ‘who doesn’t?’ The reality is, people with high self-awareness do better. Recognizing its importance and working to incorporate it in your life are the first steps towards transformation. So if you’ve been thinking about challenging the status quo and taking action to change, but haven’t done it yet, simply ask yourself: “What would be possible if I did…?