The ICF (International Coaching Federation) Definition of Coaching is ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Ref: ICF Website. In my opinion this sums it up perfectly, as it is a process of change that helps a person to become the best version of themselves that they can be. It's done in such a beautiful creative way by helping them to reach inside themselves and discover the answers that have always been there but have been buried by life. In the following paragraphs I will take you on a journey through the world of coaching, looking at some of the main areas of curiosity about coaching today and leave you with an understanding of the benefits of Coaching.

To fully understand its success we must first ask what is Coaching and what does it do for you? In today’s hectic world, everyone seeks to gain a little bit of space and time for themselves to make sense of it all. Sometimes that’s difficult for many different reasons, such as work pressure, family demands, friends, external commitments etc. Life gets in the way of finding me time. So that when a person needs to make a big decision or decide where they are headed in life, or to just simply find themselves, they often turn to Coaching.

So first of all, what has caused the growth in demand for Coaching? The world is now moving at such a fast pace that it has the effect of leaving some people feeling lost and unable to keep up. This can be for various reasons as mentioned above and Life Coaching is the key to unlocking their potential and a way of helping them find their way in the world. This is done by allowing them to see where they are right now, what their strengths and abilities are and to use those to achieve their personal goals. No other therapy allows an individual to take control in this way, it is empowering for them.

The world has always been a place of change and unrest but never more so than today. As technology and science progress, the world is racing at an incredible speed towards new and wonderful inventions and discoveries. This has fuelled the need for profit and growth in companies. This has subsequently put pressure on people to perform to ever increasing standards at work. People are like passengers on this incredible journey but it’s not an easy journey for them. The pressures and pace are taking their toll on the human race in general. People are feeling pressure to be everything to everyone and to be the ‘perfect mum, wife, brother, son, employee. There is an expectation on people to have all the answers, to live a 24/7 lifestyle and to be nothing but successful at everything they do. Due to social media their success and failure is lived in the public eye. This is a huge ask and people are struggling. So this is where coaching has come to the rescue and as the word grows of its success in helping people find answers, the demand for coaching is increasing day by day.

So why choose Coaching as a solution, instead of looking at the other options available. Coaching is not about finding someone to solve your problems, as I’ve mentioned above but it is about a person finding answers themselves. People who undertake Coaching get things done and make firm decisions and commitments to themselves. Coaching is personal, private and all encompassing. It’s a place where someone can be themselves completely. Where they won’t be judged for who they are now or what they say but will find a platform for their thoughts and beliefs. It will allow them to put together a picture of where they are now, look at where they want to be and build a bridge to get there. They have all the answers within them but just need help bringing it all together. As it says in the book, Co-Active Coaching, “people are naturally creative, resourceful and Whole”. Coaching respects that statement and shows people who they really are.

So what are the key reasons people choose Coaching today, the following are just a few examples:

  • People are looking for solutions to problems they may have in work or at home
  • Not keen to use therapy that dwells on what happened in the past as it can be painful
  • Work places are focussing more on Emotional Health of their workforce and use “In House Coaching” as a way of achieving that
  • Parents need help with their ability to parent
  • Students need guidance to realise they actually do have all the answers
  • Executives need someone to listen to them in a place where they can discuss all of the problems they have in a neutral setting – thus enabling them to come up with the answers
  • Career Transition is a situation greatly helped by Coaching

It would be impossible to list all the reasons that people choose Coaching today, as it is an infinite list. Coaching can help in all aspects of a person's life, career, relationships, study, health and happiness.

Finally, as a support intervention, what are the core differentiators that make coaching successful? Unlike other forms of talking therapy, Coaching is all about the Coachee. The Coaching Relationship is a powerful thing! Other forms of ‘therapy spend a lot of time dwelling on the past and how it influences our behaviours today but the approach taken in Coaching is to help the ‘Coachee to believe in themselves and that they already have all the answers. It's also about action. Coaching encourages action. Confidence comes from taking action. Action provides solutions. It's win/win situation.

In Coaching it's the Coachee who designs, builds and undertakes the Agenda. By doing this it makes it real in their eyes and they are much more likely to take ownership of it. The Agenda is very important, as this sets the tone for the relationship. It's devised by looking at the here and now and deciding what the ‘there and then will look like. It helps in designing the bridge between the two and what skills, behaviours and beliefs will be necessary to get to the other side. Understanding all the time that things can change on the journey just as if you were travelling using a map and you encountered road works, you don't cancel your journey, you just find another way around. And who knows, you may find a more scenic route or decide on a different destination altogether.

Coaching is a great tool in helping people to hold a mirror up to themselves and see what others see what skills they have or don't have, what attitude is portrayed to the world, how they react to problems, how much empathy they show to the world etc.

So, in conclusion I am confident in saying that Coaching is a little miracle available to everyone. The Benefits are far reaching. As Chris Wesley says on his website, ‘60% of us hate our jobs yet we spend one third of our lives doing it. If work is making you unhappy then Coaching is a tool to take you to career satisfaction. If you home life is causing you stress or a relationship is difficult and you can't see why or if you just want to understand yourself better, then Coaching is for you. If you need to take stock of your life, set goals for the future and track your progress as you go, then this is provided by Coaching. Coaching is an all-encompassing formula that allows an individual to take a virtual picture of themselves, decide if they like what they see and if not put a plan in place to ‘create the perfect picture of themselves and then become the person in that picture. It may be that they want a career change, write a book, travel the world, get a promotion or just simply to understand themselves better. Whatever the reason, Coaching is going to allow a person to jump off the treadmill of life for a while and concentrate on themselves. It will help them to find the answers inside of themselves and create a unique plan to achieve their personal goal, whatever that may be. There is nothing else like the benefits received from Coaching. There is nothing that allows someone to take an idea, develop it, nurture it and achieve it quite like Coaching does. The fact that Coaching can be done anywhere that suits the Coachee i.e. in a coffee shop, a hotel lobby, walking in the park or just over the phone, makes it accessible to all. And as the world shows no sign of slowing down, Coaching is here to stay and isn’t that a wonderful reassuring thought to finish on.

Thank you for reading.

Angela Brophy

Copyright 2016 Angela Brophy

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