Executive/Life Coaching; what is it really all about, who would hire a coach and what does it involve?
These are questions I am met with daily. If you are considering engaging a coach for yourself or your staff, or if you are simply curious, this summary will give you a high-level overview of what coaching is, the expected benefits from coaching and the process of coaching in four concise points.
- Executive/Life Coaching
The purpose of engaging a Life or Executive Coach is ultimately to partner with an objective, professional resource in order to facilitate personal and professional growth. The terms Life and Executive Coach are often used interchangeably and refer not necessarily to the qualifications held by the coach but rather to the types of clients that a coach works with and the areas of development their clients require. That said, it would be disingenuous to separate a client’s personal development from their professional development; all persons operate holistically and therefore focussing only on professional development would not achieve the most powerful shifts possible for the development of the client.
- Expected Coaching Outcomes (Return on Investment)
Clients experience benefits in two main areas when they fully engage with the coaching process; clients are required to commit to measureable outcomes that they will actively work on over the 12 week coaching cycle. The specific outcomes are determined by discussion between the coach and the client (and in consultation with sponsors where required) and are set to be a stretch outside of the client’s current ‘comfort zone’ while not being so far out that the client cannot possibly meet the objectives agreed to. Clients will usually achieve these ‘stretch’ goals.
The second area in which clients derive benefit is in the area of personal, emotional and relational well-being. Clients report a marked drop in feelings of anxiety and stress. They report being better able to regulate their emotions and make use of a wide spectrum of emotions to achieve desired outcomes in life and business. Clients report that they experience a sharp increase in mental clarity, a reduction in unhealthy conflict with a commensurate improvement in engaging healthy conflict in relationships. Moreover, clients experience themselves generally getting more done with less effort and in a shorter time period.
For those interested in the numerical value of the Return on Investment (ROI) from Executive Coaching, the ground-breaking Manchester Review 2001 reported that the ROI to be as much as 5 to 6 times the initial investment in the coaching process. These findings have been supported by subsequent studies over the past decade.
- The test for “Coach-ability”
Coaching requires of a client the willingness to look inside themselves for solutions, the ability to acknowledge full responsibility for the existence of current circumstances in their lives and the determination to pro-actively create new outcomes for themselves. Persons who persistently view themselves as victims, who are currently suffering from symptoms normally associated with untreated clinical depression or who are active addicts will not be able to access the full benefits of coaching and will therefore, be referred to the appropriate professional for primary intervention or treatment.
- Coaching Process & Methodology
The process of coaching centres on the asking of powerful questions to provoke new insights in a client. In so doing, the coaching process causes the development of new neural pathways. The significance of this is that all growth experienced by a client during the coaching process is internalised instantly and is largely irreversible; one cannot ‘unsee’ what one has ‘seen’. This means that the results achieved as a consequence of coaching are sustainable over the long-term; the client is fundamentally changed by the process of coaching and previously held self-limiting beliefs, attitudes and modes are released and replaced by healthy and empowering ways of thinking and being. Depending on the training of the coach, a coach may draw on elements of inter alia, ontology, philosophy, neuroscience, systems theory or positive psychology, to achieve the desired results.
This post originally appeared on http://www.taniamadams.com. If you are interested in exploring the options for coaching you can contact Tania to set up a free, no obligations initial session to determine whether coaching is for you. Contact Tania here.
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