Have you tried to describe a problem to someone and before you finish they tell you emphatically exactly what you should do to solve it? However in doing so they haven’t taken into account all the other constraints which you’re facing which are likely to make their solution irrelevant. So you try to explain, but they insist that this solution will work… so you walk away frustrated and no further forwards in solving your problem?
Although the problems of each person may sound similar on the surface, a solution that works for one person often isn’t relevant for the other, and the only way to know what is the best course of action is to delve deeper into the exact nature of the problem. Given that the individual with the problem is the one who knows it best, the most useful course of action is to help them to find the solution themselves.
Coaching works on this principle – a coach acts as a sounding board to really listen and help you to find a solution to the problems and challenges you are facing, introducing different perspectives and tools to facilitate them in the process.
A coach will help you to move through the problem solving process by:
- setting clear, realistic, achievable goals
- fully explore where you are, what you have already done, what solutions you have tried and what you have learnt as a result.
- generate ideas of what you could possibly do – and push you hard to think of new approaches you haven’t tried already
- identify clear actions that you will take and when you will take them.
This sounds like a very simple process and something you can do yourself, so what value does a coach bring? A coach will:
- make sure that you work through this process properly, drawing out those things which you wouldn’t always recognise yourself and helping you to face the challenges that you don’t realise you are avoiding.
- ensure you celebrate your successes, keeping you motivated and moving forwards.
- hold you accountable, helping you recognise those actions which you set which are repeatedly not done and explore what the resistance is to this task, understand the reasons for avoidance and find an alternative solution that works for you.
- introduce you to a wide range of tools and techniques to help you to work through a challenge. A coach will select these tools to fit your needs and help you to open up to a new perspective.
Most simply though, by working with a coach you achieve your goals faster because you make a commitment to someone other than yourself to take action and you have a time and a date when you will report back on progress. Furthermore the action has been well thought through is something you believe in.
Coaching can be applied to a wide range of areas for improving business performance as well as personal and individual development. For some examples please see my offerings page.
If you’re interested in finding out more then give me a call or send me an email to set up a chat.