What is coaching and How Can I Benefit
- 4 Apr 2022
- Posted by: Hussian Aboobacker
- Category: Coaching
What is coaching and How Can I Benefit
Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D.
Differences between Mentor, Performance Manager, and Coach
A Mentor is a professional who is senior to you, has experience in the same field, knowledge of how the “System” works, and can guide and direct you on your career path in light of the goals that have been established. The Mentor knows the industry, the shortcuts, the pitfalls and his/her job is to help you navigate successfully through the corporate labyrinth…usually by giving advice.
A Performance Manager is one who helps you set goals, meets with you when you complete “Engagements” to provide feedback on specific performance and focus on future development priorities; they also meet with you at mid-year for progress review, and at year-end regarding performance in relation to goals that have been previously set.
The Coach is a neutral, often external professional who is selected to support individuals in either accelerating performance or in overcoming obstacles. The Coach is a “Safe” and unbiased person who asks discovery questions to open up possibilities that haven’t yet been considered. The Coach helps unlock secrets that block productivity and motivation.
The Coaching process has three phases: 1) To clarify what you want; 2) To map out an action plan to get what you want; 3) To be supported in the realization of your objectives. These phases happen in each Coaching session and in every Coaching project.
Start Your Year with Focus
Each January meet with your PM to help you determine your goals for the year. Once you have formulated your goals, then your Coach will know what you want to achieve and can help you with obstacles and challenges that could get in the way of your success. The Coaching conversation regarding values, focus, and goal setting aligns both of your energies toward agreed upon objectives. This is a good starting place for a new Coaching relationship. Confronting what you want, what is blocking you, and what you might be avoiding is a good use of your Coaching relationship.
Formulating Goals & Objectives: “Personal Business Plan”
You always want to start goals with the word, “To.” When you do this you have immediate focus and forward motion. Then you determine what you want to get out of each session, and you take personal responsibility for causing the results.
Here are some examples:
- To clarify…
- To formulate …
- To determine…
- To overcome…
- To organize…
- To strategize…
Goals are used for Professional Achievement and Personal Development
If you are achieving all of your goals, then perhaps you need to make them more challenging. Goals should have a blend of three elements: 1. ones that you can definitely accomplish (comfort zone); 2. those that are a bit beyond your reach (discomfort zone); 3. those that are a huge expansion (stretch zone). If all of your goals are in the comfort zone, you will easily accomplish them, however, you won’t be challenged to grow yourself professionally.
Your Coach will help you to uncover what might be in the way to achieve all of your goals. If some of your goals are not accomplished, your Coach will help you discover the lessons that you can learn from those unfulfilled goals so that you can uncover the insight and grow from everything that you experience.
Why do some goals become unfulfilled? Unrealized goals become the subject for your personal development program. While you examine the what, the why, and the “why nots” related to your specific goal, your Coach supportively encourages you to look deeper to find the “Real Truth,” and not settle for surface reasons, justifications, and explanations for not doing what you said you would do.
Typical objectives for a session are:
- Work/Career: This relates to planning your career development strategy, managing relationships on the job, solving problems at work, changing jobs, changing careers, planning a promotion.
- Health: A health concern of yours or that of a family member can prevent you from optimum effectiveness, including eating, sleeping, exercise, nutrition, pain, energy, vitality, sight, hearing, motivation and passion for your job.
- Balance: How to develop balance between work and leisure time, managing stress, and structuring your time so that you feel in control.
- Happiness: What is blocking you being happy, and what needs to happen for you to create a happier life.
- A stressful concern: Something you are thinking or worried about.
- Relationships: This includes the relationships with all significant people in your life including: bosses, staff, and colleagues.
- Finances: This includes how to live within your means, how to solve an immediate financial problem.
- Family: This includes your relationship between you and parents, children and extended family.
You might have a specific issue like: confusion of priorities, procrastination, the inability to say “No,” to some requests you receive, the desire to overcome blocks to public speaking, rejection, dealing with high level executives, and even being happy. The most important aspect of working with a Coach is the rapport between the two of you. The connection needs to feel totally safe, as if you could say anything and would still experience unconditional acceptance. The connection with your Coach must be free from judgment, and your Coach must believe in you and your capabilities.
Bridging the gap
When the stretch between where you are presently and the desired future reality is more than you can imagine, a Coach helps you bridge the gap between “here” and “there.” A Coach helps you manage any: “I Can’ts” or the negativity that can surface in the form of confusion, doubt, uncertainty and fear that can sabotage your dreams. Every time you achieve another goal you grow into expanded dimensions of yourself.
You may be a very positive person who is surrounded by people who might be negative, diminishing, have exceedingly high expectations, or just plain negative (Negaholic). If you are in such a situation, you might take your accomplishments for granted, have difficulty being acknowledged for your achievements, and maybe even discount, discredit, or let yourself off the hook when you don’t do what you said you would do. In this circumstance you could possibly use a person to serve as external accountability. A Coach can support you in acknowledging yourself, in doing what you said you wanted to do, and in being resolute with the negative people around you.
A Sounding Board
A Coach can also help you externalize your thoughts and feelings regarding your goals. Formulating goals is important, but stating them doesn’t automatically guarantee that they will happen. It isn’t like the genie from the lamp that looms up in front of you asking for your three wishes. You must focus, intend, and do whatever you need to do to make your goals become reality. Your Coach will encourage you to share your secret wishes, dreams and goals. A Coach helps you track your progress, recognize, reinforce and reward the achievement of your desired outcomes. Sometimes the thoughts and feelings regarding a specific issue become jumbled in your mind. When this happens, the Coach serves as an objective entity that can help you sort out the spaghetti of the mind into individual strands so that you can make choices. The definition of choice is: “To select freely from a series of alternatives that which you want.”
Sometimes you are presented with opportunities and it is difficult to sort out what direction is right for you. A Coach can help you determine whether the situation indicates that you should ask yourself: “Am I supposed to press through this obstacle or am I supposed to cut my losses because there is no way for me to win in this situation?”
Embarking on a new Chapter
What happens when your responsibilities expand, you’ve been promoted, or you have less people to whom to delegate? Perhaps your company is rapidly expanding and your job is changing dramatically, then, what do you do? A Mentor can help you sort out your options; then a Coach will help you choose your best possibility with no attachment to the outcome, formulate a plan to build your competency and confidence, and support you embarking on your new venture.
Learning to Believe in Yourself
Another area in which your Coach can be incredibly useful is in helping you to believe in yourself, especially when you are in the “stretch zone.” Research has shown that people who believe in themselves are much more likely to make their goals happen compared to those who don’t. If your goals require you to stretch your self-image, then your Coach can help you find the building blocks between your current perceptions of yourself to your desired identity.
Getting back on your feet
A Coach can help when you encounter disappointment, disillusionment or rejection. When your big goal seems to constantly be shutdown, you may become discouraged. Your Coach can either help you reframe these experiences or assist you in overcoming the objections and breaking through the blocks.
Believing in yourself
Each one of us has two distinct aspects: they are: the “I can” side and the “I can’t side.” The “I can” side is confident, competent, capable, certain, and in control. The “I can’t” side is insecure, uncertain, fearful, and reactive to other people’s needs, wishes, agendas, and expectations. The purpose of the “I can’t” side is to keep you safe from risks and harm. The purpose of the “I can” side is to stretch you out of your comfort zone and make you grow.
Validation and Recognition
It is important for everyone to have at least one person who recognizes your accomplishments. Too often family and friends see you as you were in the past or as you are in the present. They see you in terms of your history not in light of your future. They may have difficulty expanding their viewpoint to include your development into new endeavors and capabilities. They may focus on your limitations rather than on your unlimited potential. They also may compare themselves to you and/or be threatened by your growth and expansion. Having a safe space to formulate and discuss your goals, to share your concerns, worries, considerations and fears can be extremely helpful. Every time you externalize your doubts it reduces their power over you.
You may want to do something that is a big stretch for you, and fear may impede your progress. You may be caught between the desire for the objective and the fear that tries to convince you that you can’t have it. Your fear, False Evidence Appearing Real may seize and immobilize you. Problem solve with your coach before making any decisions about your future employment with the firm and before taking action.
We have found that effective Coaching occurs when you are fully engaged in the process. This means that you have your PBP formulated with all three types of goals, you actively track weekly your progress with the “Reflection Journal,” you are open, transparent, and fully disclosing throughout your Coaching sessions, allowing your Coach to truly help you with challenges you encounter. If you come to a Coaching session to simply give an update on your successes and accomplishments, although that may be gratifying, it doesn’t enable the Coach to truly empower you to grow and develop yourself professionally. It may be a waste of time for both of you. Seriously consider how you want to use your Coach to support your professional development. Remember your Coach is not your mentor nor is he or she your PM.
Everyone who has ever achieved anything in life has had at least one person whose support was unrelenting. In the highly mobile world in which we live, it is difficult to surround yourself with people who have that unconditional commitment to your success. In large companies it can be “unsafe” to communicate your aspirations rejections, concerns, worries, fears, or even goals. Very often people are eager to use the information for their own professional positioning and personal gain. Your Coach, however, will be one of your greatest encouragers and will commit to your success no matter what.
If coaching sounds like something you would like explore further please reach out to the University of Dubai and check out the MMS Executive Coaching program.
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