Coaching is part of the fabric of our culture, and likely every culture to ever exist. In today’s world, we see sport coaches, life coaches, fitness coaches, school coaches (tutors), and coaches for all types of specified topics.
Across all specialities, coaches exist to inform, train, and manage. They evaluate your skill and your current situation. They set specific goals and target areas that need improvement. Then, they help you in your journey to achieving these goals by building up the skills you need to reach them, and guiding you along the way.
A very basic definition of a coach is found above. And in the business world, the same definition applies, just to different subject matter. Coaching in the workplace is growing in popularity as more companies are recognizing how much it can enhance communication, culture, and efficiency.
What do coaches do?
Your soccer coach can’t play the game for you, and your tutor can’t take the test for you. All they can do is teach you new skills and ways of thinking and opportunities for growth.
Similarly, executive coaches are not meant to make decisions for their clients. Instead, they ask challenging questions to instigate critical thinking and possible actions. They provide clarity for clients to guide them to make their own choices. Coaches provide insight to their clients in the problem-solving process, and in some scenarios may give advice.
While some coaches may have a background in therapy or consulting, those professions are not synonymous with coaching. Coaches are not psychologists. They are simply catalysts to help professionals reach their potential and their goals, and are an unbiased outlet of information and emotional intelligence.
Should I have a coach?
Coaching is mostly reserved for higher-up executives in a company’s pyramid. Someone who is being coached should have authority in the company and be able to make a big impact with the outcome of their coaching process.
Coaching does not mean bringing someone into your company to solve a problem for you. Coaches take a holistic approach in that they help you come to your own conclusions and help you do the leg work necessary to achieve your goals. Coaching is not an easy-way-out, easy answer, last-ditch effort to solve something or someone who is failing.
The idea is to learn new habits and skills from your coach. A process like this takes time and work. Immediate gratification will not found. Coaches get to know their clients on a personal basis. This fact is key to the process being successful, and something like that takes longer than one session.
Personality type and outlook also can play a role in whether or not coaching is right for you. In order for coaching to be a successful and enlightening experience, you have to want it. You have to be open to accepting feedback and constructive criticism. You should be able to recognize how coaching can help you, your coworkers, and your company overall. If you’re willing to admit that change is necessary, then coaching could be a really great option for you.
What’s the coaching process look like?
Typical time periods for hiring coaches ranges for seven months to one year. Coaching styles and formats can certainly range, but most follow a series of stages. One phase may be learning the company and the executive’s role, then the next step would be creating specific and realistic goals, and then lastly developing a plan to reach the goals.
Throughout each phase, mostly the execution portion, is when coaches will have check-ins with their client. Face-to-face meetings are preferred and most beneficial, but some coaches may do phone or video calls if necessary.
Your relationship with your coach is confidential. While the relationship is not personal and not a friendship, it is based on support and trust. That being said, finding the right coach for you is critical.
Meeting your prospective coach in person and learning their style and philosophy should be done before any contracts or checks are signed. Learning, understanding, and being on board with how they run their program is something you should aim to achieve in this first meeting. You should feel comfortable with and relatable to your coach. Most importantly, trusting your coaching is a key element to the process working.
If you’re invested in your company, want to grow in self-awareness and awareness of those you work with, are open to new ways of thinking and implementing, and are willing to put in the work to achieve your professional goals, then coaching is something you should really consider. For more information about how coaching can help you, give iGenCo a call today!