Fists in Solidarity

A partnership based on trust

What coaching is…

Coaching has been defined in many ways. I once read that “Coaching is hard to describe but powerful to experience” and I completely agree with that.

 

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines it as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. 

 

Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change.

To me, the essence of coaching is 

  • Growth: Coaching is future focused, it’s about helping you to get from where you are now to where you want to be. 

  • Self-awareness: Coaching builds awareness, which empowers choice and leads to change.

  • Enabling: A coach creates a safe and authentic place (the “coaching space”) enabling you to do your best thinking and work out a way forward.

 

A holistic approach

As a Career & Leadership Coach, my focus is on the work life; I support people who want to create a fulfilling and successful career path for themselves. Having said that, coaching is a holistic approach. There is no strict separation between work life and private life. As most of us have experienced ourselves, our work life has a big impact on our private life, and the other way around. Therefore, in coaching the focus is always on you as a person. As a result, getting more satisfaction and motivation in your professional life is likely to have a positive impact on your life as a whole.
 

You are in charge

Coaching is a client-driven process. It is based on the belief that you are the expert for yourself - and that we learn best through self-discovery as opposed to when someone tells us what to do.

One of the misconceptions about coaching is that the coach has to be an expert in the client’s field of work. I am not here to provide you with answers or ready-made solutions, but to help you come to your own conclusions. I do that through active listening, by asking questions, challenging assumptions and providing feedback.  

 

Unlocking your full potential

There was a time when executive coaching was seen as a method to “fix” a failing manager, and in general, that working with a coach meant something was wrong with you. Luckily, this perception is changing and nowadays, a growing number of individuals are turning to professional coaching for support in identifying their vision and purpose, and to unlock their full potential.

 

A few years ago, the ICF conducted a consumer study with clients worldwide. Respondents listed the following positive impacts that coaching had for them:

  • Improved communication skills

  • Increased self-esteem/self-confidence

  • Increased productivity

  • Optimized individual/team work performance

  • Improved work/life balance

  • Accelerated on-boarding into a new professional role

… and what coaching isn’t

It is also useful to distinguish coaching from similar activities.

  • Consulting: a consultant provides expertise and solves business problems. A consultant deals with the overall organization or specific parts of it and not individuals within it. 

  • Mentoring: a senior colleague who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience in a specific area

  • Training: the process of getting knowledge by study, experience or teaching. The trainer by definition is the expert and programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer. In coaching, they are set by the individual being coached.

  • Counseling: working with clients who feel uncomfortable, or dissatisfied with their life and are seeking guidance and advice

  • Therapy: working with clients who seek relief from psychological or physical symptoms. While therapy deals with the client’s mental health, coaching deals with the client’s mental growth. 

Is coaching for you?

Now that you have an idea of what coaching is and what it isn’t, it’s your decision. To sum it up, coaching is the right fit for you if you are

  • Motivated to grow and to work on yourself

  • Willing to self-reflect, openly and critically

  • Open to feedback

  • Ready to set goals and take action

 


If you have any questions, get in touch with me. Or explore my site to find out more about my Career Coaching or my Leadership Coaching.