What would you start today if you could not fail? Have you ever felt like you are just spinning your wheels and going nowhere? What is holding you back from achieving your goals? If you have tried to introspect and struggled to find answers to these questions, working with a trained professional can help you to uncover these hidden answers and find ways to break through the barriers that are holding you back. Professional coaching can help you identify and live out your purpose, create a vision for your future and become the best version of yourself. This partnership between you and your coach can help you to thrive both personally and professionally.
The world’s largest organization of professionally trained business and personal coaches, the International Coach Federation (ICF) has advanced the art and science of coaching globally. The ICF defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’ One of the tenets of the ICF coaching philosophy is that coaching is a client-driven process. What does that mean?
The client is responsible for setting the agenda for the coaching session. The coach will discover, clarify and align with the objectives the client wants to achieve, encourage self-discovery, elicit client-generated solutions and keep the client accountable to take the requisite action. The coach achieves this by partnering with the client to unlock their potential through a guided process that leverages the power of questions and active listening to help the client to come up with their answers to their challenges. Clients are regarded as experts of themselves that have all the right answers within themselves. The skill of the coach is used to help the client to arrive at the best solutions through meaningful, guided reflection. Coaching is future-focused and places great emphasis on action, accountability, and follow-through after specific actionable objectives have been defined.
It is important to remember that coaching is distinct from other service professions such as counseling or therapy, mentoring, consulting, and training. Therapy focuses on improving psychological functioning and emotional health by examining conflicts, emotions, past trauma, and other issues that impair an individual’s ability to deal with issues in healthy and constructive ways. If you have issues relating to anxiety and depression, a qualified therapist or mental health expert is the appropriate specialist for you to work with.
Mentoring is commonly confused with coaching. Mentoring allows a more experienced individual to pass on knowledge, experience and guide an individual based on their own experience. Coaches on the other hand do not need to have direct experience of their clients’ occupational roles or experience with the problems their clients are facing. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling and focuses instead on individuals or groups reaching their objectives. Similarly, consultants are sought for their expertise and diagnostic prowess. Consultants look for solutions to the problems they identify and prescribe the right course of action to follow accordingly.
What are the Benefits of Coaching?
There are a whole host of benefits from coaching that have been reported in various studies over the years. These include improved communication skills, optimized individual/teamwork performance, expanded professional career opportunities, increased productivity and enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem, and many others. As coaching is highly personalized and tailored to the individual, the benefits can vary for individuals. Organizations can also benefit from coaching through enhanced communication, empowered employees, and increased productivity.
What are the Benefits of Executive Coaching?
An Executive Coach can provide a safe, structured, and trustworthy environment for the individual undergoing the coaching. CEOs, directors, and other c-suite executives may find coaching helps them identify their goals, improve their relationships with others, and have more clarity on how they are perceived by others. Individuals and teams can be coached to contribute more effectively to the organization, work more productively, communicate with impact, and gain more job and life satisfaction.
Coaching can also be an invaluable tool for personal development. For example, increased self-confidence helps employees to become more assertive which will result in a shift in their attitude to solving problems and adding value in the workplace. Individuals can become more empowered to take more responsibility and improve individual performance.
In summary, if you or your organization would like to unlock your potential and maximize your capability, consider hiring a professional coach. Many of the world’s top-performing individuals that are movers and shakers in their respective fields harness the power of coaching to help them explore their hidden potential and produce extraordinary results in their careers, businesses, and personal lives. Some of them go on to train as coaches so they can help empower others. As the popular saying goes, ‘A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.’
About SBS Executive Coaching
We are Africa, we understand Africa and we believe in Africa. Our value proposition is our commitment to developing virtuous Leaders who can transform not only the organizations but also the society at large.
Through our Executive Coaching Programmes, we focus on providing innovative and influential learning experiences for leaders with the aim of transforming leadership in the African continent and beyond. Learn about our Executive Coaching Programmes
- International Coaching Federation. (2021, January 1). About ICF. https://coachingfederation.org/about
Article by Shailja Sharma, Executive Fellow, and Coach
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