Coaching operates as a process driven by the client’s needs, where the coach takes on the task of discovering, clarifying, and aligning with the client’s aspirations. Additionally, the coach facilitates client self-discovery, encourages the formulation of client-generated solutions and strategies, and maintains a role in holding the client responsible and accountable throughout the journey. This coaching process is designed to not only enhance clients’ perspectives on work and life but also to refine their leadership skills and unlock their latent potential.
Coaching, as explained by the International Coaching Federation (ICF):
“Life Coaches partner with clients, helping them achieve their goals, overcome challenges, and make changes in their lives. They help clients identify their own strengths and use that power to create the changes they seek.”
“A coach should honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to: Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve.”
The essence of coaching involves supporting individuals in broadening their ideas, aiding in their awareness of current mindfulness experiences, examining mindsets to alter perspectives on available options, and fostering comprehension of personal values and belief systems, which manifest in various aspects of our lives.
A prevalent misunderstanding revolves around the notion that life coaches offer guidance. Contrary to this belief, a coach’s function is not to dispense wisdom but to facilitate the client’s internal journey of tapping into their own wisdom. From this point of inner connection, clients are empowered to make decisions about their actions and future steps. In this context, a coach serves as an impartial partner for brainstorming, with the client taking the lead since they remain the primary expert in their life.
“Coaching is about helping people identify the obstacles that keep getting in their way, assisting them with finding motivation, and pinpointing any resistance to change.” -Heather Sayer, licensed counselor and certified life coach
Therapy vs Coaching
Past to Present, Present to Future
Many people seek coaching after or alongside therapy, as it builds upon the healing that can take place in the therapy process. Coaching and counseling are distinct approaches, each with its own focus and purpose.
Coaching centers on the present, fostering personal and professional growth through self-initiated change to help individuals shape a desired future through action-oriented strategies.
In contrast, counseling is insight-oriented, as it addresses the healing of past and present emotional pain, dysfunction, and conflict within an individual or relationships to enhance overall psychological functioning and promote more emotionally healthy ways of dealing with the present.
Though insights and strategy are parts of both counseling and coaching, they differ in emphasis. Typically, coaching emphasizes “how” to achieve personal and professional goals, while therapy focuses on the “why” of emotional and behavioral challenges.
What Coaching Can Do For You
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Helps at Work
Coaching can unlock your potential by identifying professional goals, strengths, and purpose, which can inform decisions regarding development opportunities, time allocation, prioritization of tasks, and career pathing.
Coaching can build upon and amplify the work done in therapy by aiding the implementation and integration of therapeutic tools into your daily life.
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Increases Emotional Wellbeing
Coaching provides the space to question and consider foundational beliefs, values, and habits, allowing for perspective shifts. These shifts can increase positive emotions, making new habits/initiatives less daunting. This new outlook can be utilized to make positive changes.
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Strengthens Relationship and Good Habits
There is no “one size fits all” solution, coaching is a proactive practice that utilizes self reflection and systematic problem-solving to find which habits, routines, and process works for you.
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