1. What is coaching?
Interestingly, there is no legal definition for ‘coaching’. Whilst this can be seen as a possible weakness for the profession, and possibly also confusing, it allows for a certain freedom for each coach to define his/her practice, in a way that is meaningful to them. This is quite crucial.
If pressed, my own definition would be: ‘A facilitative conversation, helping an individual to unlock their potential and to assist in the setting & accomplishment of meaningful goals, through changes in thinking and/or behaviour, thus enhancing their lives.’
Note: When coaching is used within organisations, terms such as ‘maximising performance’ are often used.
2. Is there just one ‘type’ of coaching?
In short, no. Following on from the above, each coach can define his/her own practice and there are various forms and styles one can adopt in their coaching.
There are 2 key points to make here:
A) Interestingly – no one coaching ‘method’ has been shown to be more (or less) effective than other; it is the coach’s belief in their particular method that is crucial
B) The coaching relationship, between coach and coach, is also a key factor; as would be expected, coaches might ‘click’ with a particular coach more than they might with another.
In my own coaching practice, I use the popular GROW coaching model as the foundation, which was originally developed by Sir John Whitmore in the 1980s.
3. Who is coaching for?
Anyone! There are no specific criteria to be met. Simply put, it is for anyone who wants to make any sort of change(s) in their life. Often, we might know that we want to make a change, but don’t necessarily know what those might look like. Alternatively, you may wish to discuss the positive psychology element, and how this might add to your life (see more on this, below).
Those who seek coaching may describe themselves as:
- Feeling stuck
- Going ‘around in circles’ in their heads
- Having a change that they know they want to make
- Knowing change is needed, but not sure what, or where to start
- Feeling unfulfilled in some way
- Unhappy with the way they are currently living, or one particular aspect of their life
Aside from the points above, you might just want to discover how you might make your life better.
4. What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?
Coaching and mentoring are often, mistakenly, used as interchangeable terms. Though there are similarities in the purpose they serve, they are fundamentally different.
Whereas a mentor acts as an ‘adviser’ and imparts some form of knowledge, coaches on the other hand “facilitate coachees in becoming their own advisers”. (i.e. Coaching isn’t about ‘telling you what to do’, ‘how to live your life’ or ‘giving you specific answers’.)
5. So where does ‘positive psychology’ come into play?
… with my study and practice of positive psychology (you can read some examples of the changes I’ve been making, here), I can offer guidance and knowledge here as appropriate, if you wish. This could either be in addition to the coaching, or separately (in isolation).
For example, you may not feel you need to be ‘coached’ per se, though might be interested in some of the ideas and practices from positive psychology which might add value to your life, and make it better.
6. Sounds great! How can I get involved?
If you are interested in having a ‘coaching conversation’ (session) at no cost, or would like to find out more, please get in touch. You can either email me, at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively, you can call/text on 07411 870 800.
I am also happy to answer any questions that you might have about coaching, or indeed positive psychology, via email, phone or in person.