At iMaginaction we are very focused on ensuring clarity around what coaching is, and what coaching is not, as clarity in this area is integral in co-creating the coaching engagement, the quality of the coaching relationship and subsequent success of the coaching encounter.
Timothy Gallwey the founder of the Inner Game and widely acknowledged as the godfather of the current coaching movement described coaching as “unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them”.
Coaching is in essence a process to help an individual or group determine their underlying beliefs, values, knowledge, skills, strengths and opportunities through engaging in self-awareness to scaffold the realisation of potential in relation to enhancing behavioural performance and achieving goals.
Coaching is not teaching or advising, as the focus of teaching and advising is to impart knowledge and information, typically a one way communication process.
Mentoring and coaching are often closely associated. The role of the mentor is to build capability, and the role of the coach is to guide the realisation of potential and enhance individual and organisational performance.
Professor David Clutterbuck, an acclaimed and respected author on leadership, coaching and mentoring proposed that “A mentor is a more experienced individual willing to share knowledge with someone less experienced in a relationship of mutual trust”.
Coaching is not counselling. Coaching focuses on increasing performance, focuses on goal setting, whereas counselling addresses personal or professional issues that are impacting on an individuals and / or other’s lives.
If you or someone you know are experiencing personal challenges, there are a number of useful resources to raise increased awareness and understanding around mental health challenges and provide guidance around some helpful strategies.
The role of the coach is to guide the learning journey for individuals’ at all hierarchical levels across the organisation to increase self and organisational awareness, cultivate new ways of thinking and doing, to enhance capability, increase alignment with the organisations vision and goals and create opportunity awareness.
The coaching partnership is reliant on self-reflection to promote self-awareness around strengths and opportunities, whilst maintaining an open attitude towards experimenting with new perspectives, ways of thinking, reinvention and embracing congruent behaviours in relation to our goals.
It also requires courage, humility and a willingness to be vulnerable, to step beyond the status quo, cross boundaries and explore new horizons.
With the foundations of self-awareness and self-belief in place, this can transcend into self-empowerment and commitment towards future focus areas and the goal emergence process begins. It is not a regimented process, goals can be reassessed to align with evolving realities. It is not strictly a solo journey, we explore ways to harness external resources to support future actions.
The coaching partnership is based upon agreed rules of engagement, time frames, self governing goal ownership and defining measures of success. It involves a partnership between the coach, coaching counterpart and the organization, with the goal of realising potential to support personal growth, professional development and strategic organisational objectives with productive outcomes.