Before I was introduced to coaching, I had been a Management Trainer and HR professional for many years and yet I was unaware of what coaching actually entailed! I always visualized a coach as a grey-haired, super enlightened, highly sophisticated, all knowing, subject matter expert with possibly an imaginary halo hovering over his head. Little did I know that all these characteristics weren’t even essential to be considered as a competent coach!
So who exactly is a coach? There are many definitions and interpretations for coaches these days. Quite literally a ‘Coach’ is a railway carriage or medium of commute which transports a person from one place to another. Figuratively too that’s exactly what a coach does; he enables you to move from one point to another which you may have otherwise found difficult to do on your own. I recently attended a two-day coaching event and in that event one of the participants described the coach as some one who will stand alongside as you unlock one door of potential and move on to open another. This one of the most fascinating and visual descriptions I have ever heard to depict what I do! In the HBR Guide to Coaching Employees, an executive coach defines coaching as a style of management characterized by asking questions, questions which will make you progress from command and control style of leadership to a dynamic one in which the person being coached grows through self-reflection and self-discovery. Asking the right questions, however, is the key to setting the right foot and good questions are as important to a coach as is a light saber to a Jedi. We shall be covering that in more detail in our next few publications.
Moving on to the Coachee, let’s see what this one is all about. Typically a coachee is someone who drives the coach and in reality, too, it is the coachee who determines the coaching agreement through self-inspection which in turn leads to envisioning of new solutions to old problems. Thereby a coachee is someone who is being coached.
Last but not the least Coaching itself is a powerful interactive process between two or more people that helps individuals to develop personally and professionally more rapidly and with more satisfying and fulfilling results than would have been possible if working alone.
And now that we have discovered the basic terminologies of Coaching let’s move on, shall we?