Since it’s the Summer of Coaching, let’s take a few minutes to explore what coaching actually is…and what it’s not!
Coaching is a commonly used term in many different contexts, so it carries many meanings. Oftentimes, when we hear the word “coach,” the first image that comes to mind is the coach of a sports team. In sports, a coach helps players improve their performance by teaching them relevant skills or techniques, monitoring their performance, and providing advice and encouragement.
Since many people think of coaching through this sports lens, they often think a coach in the workplace teaches skills and provides advice and encouragement to someone to improve that person’s performance. Although this is certainly a valuable form of development, this is not the kind of coaching we’re talking about.
As professional coaches, we use the International Coach Federation’s (ICF) definition of coaching:
Coaching is partnering with an individual in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
We know – it can be confusing! Here are some clarifying points on how the ICF’s definition of coaching may be different than what you thought it was:
- A coach does not tell someone what to do, but instead listens and asks thought-provoking questions.
- A coach does not give advice, but instead acts as a facilitator to help someone discover their own learning and path forward.
- A coach does not teach, but instead helps someone tap into their innate wisdom and resourcefulness so they can learn from their own experiences.
- A coach does not set goals for someone, but instead helps them determine and reach their own goals.
Coaching is a powerful development tool for people because it:
- Helps them uncover what matters most to them and puts them in charge of their own goals.
- Builds resourcefulness and empowers them to achieve more meaningful and sustainable results.
- Brings more meaning and purpose to their work.
- Increases self-awareness and builds confidence.
Just imagine what’s possible for you as a leader when you add coaching to your leadership toolkit! If you’re curious to learn more, check out some of our Summer of Coaching resources below, and reach out to us anytime!
See you in the DoP,