Coaching is a journey from A to B without the handbrake on.
People look for coaching for many reasons; the reasons do fall neatly into two categories.
Firstly, there is remedial coaching. This is coaching to sort things out or fix things for example; overcoming a fear, phobia or limitation, kick a habit, get over an event.
Secondly, there is generative coaching. Coaching that leads to progressive change and growth for example: becoming more confident, defining a purpose, putting a plan together, and executing a plan. If you think of remedial coaching as letting the handbrake off a car and generative coaching as putting your foot on the accelerator you will see why it’s often best to deal with remedial change before coaching any generative change.
Otherwise, it’s like going on a coaching journey with the pedal to the metal and wondering why you’re going nowhere fast and you can smell burning. It often leads to burn out or the journey of change becoming tiring.
Coaching clients often book onto a coaching programme because they have at least some idea what they want to change or create and they believe a coach will help them to achieve their desired outcomes. The challenge a coach and the client first face is that often what the client wants or asks for is not always what needs to first be coached.
Knowing what you want, when you are looking to employ a coach is a great start, a second important part is trusting the coach to guide you and navigate you on the journey from where you are now to where you desire to be. Coaching does require a degree of trust especially if the navigator suddenly says turn left or pull over especially when you can see the road ahead is clear.
One valuable perspective a great coach brings to the coaching relationship is that they are not you. They have a detached perspective from you and this gives them the opportunity to metaphorically rise above the situation and get a helicopter view of your journey.
This detachment enables the experienced coach to see where some remedial coaching work is needed in order to make the journey smoother, easier more fun.
One word of caution for the person seeking coaching, this detached coaching perspective although invaluable, takes practice. Often inexperienced coaches will have only a few fixed ways of working, forcing the client to follow a route simply because the coach has only a few routes to offer and very few coaches are trained or qualified to deal with many of the issues that fall into the remedial category.
If you think of the coach as the navigator they don’t force you to take the turns, they will help you to explore which is the best route for you to take, they will encourage you to take rest breaks and enjoy the scenery and occasionally they may want you to pop the bonnet open so they can sort out the irritating rattling noise that you may have put up with for years.
Always remember that It’s your coaching journey and you are in the driving seat of your own life, so open the window, turn the music up and enjoy it.