Today, I am talking about you…
Don’t be fearful though, I am not gossiping. That’s not my style.
I am talking about YOU, because I want YOU to know about all the things that YOU can gain from a coach.
Because if you do not already participate in coaching sessions… Wow! Wow! Wow! You are missing out!
Additionally, by reading this blog, you will also learn about each piece of a coaching structure that many coaches implement, and how each piece impacts your development. Exciting stuff… even if I say so myself.
As we have already established, I am talking about you.
However, to give you a relatable simile about coaching, I am going to, very quickly, talk about me.
I found coaching to be like trying to prize a deep splinter from beneath the surface of your skin.
Does not sound like a glowing comparison, but let me explain…
The splinter symbolises your way forward, which is stuck inside you. You may try, without much finesse or refined technique to forcefully squeeze it from within.
However, when the panic is eased and it is approached with composure and with a process that is more effective (perhaps tweezers for the sake of this comparison). It delivers you with that result and relief that you are desperate for, with any discomfort suffered along the way completely worthwhile.
That’s enough about me and my experience, let’s get back to you.
Here is what a coach can do for you.
You have ambition. You have dreams. You have a vision of your future self. Which is fantastic!
However, amongst this positive momentum, do you have direction?
Without guidance and clarity on how you can get to where you want to be, there can be the potential for huge amounts of frustration to build when your journey does not progress how you expect it to.
The problem with this is that frustration and a seeming lack of development can cause people to give up on their ambitions, dreams and future self and to settle for less.
A coach therefore could be your crucial link between your aspirations and your reality. Your opportunity to ensure that everything you want to achieve not only plays out in your imagination but becomes real.
Who here has heard of the GROW Model?
Well for those in the house who have not, the GROW Model is a powerfully simple process for coaching conversations and it is designed to give coaching conversations a clear 4-piece structure, making goal setting and the actions needed to achieve those goals, much clearer.
This blog is going to cover all aspects of the model, however on the topic of clarifying goals, let’s start at the top, with the G.
You may approach coaching with a clear goal in mind of what you want to achieve, both during the coaching conversations and outside of them. If you are already clear on your goal then your coach may ask you about the current reality that exists around that goal, and how you came to define that goal as your outcome.
However, if you are unsure of what your goals are, your coach may start by exploring your current reality so as to help you clarify how you want things to be different in the future. Having a super clear vision of your future desired state is a big chunk of setting your goals.
All you and your coach have to do now is refine them, put them in the positive, consider the ecology of the goals and come up with some measures… super simple once you know what you want.
Explore Your Reality
Now let’s circle back around to the R, which is reality.
The purpose being to discover your current state, and therefore spot the differences that exist between that and your desired state. The gap between the two is where opportunity for growth lies.
By having a coach, you are opening yourself up to the potential of having your perspective on your own reality and beliefs widened. They will ask questions which will enable you to identify what is happening to you currently, what you need to adjust in order to bridge the gap to your desired reality, and also what exists in your reality to help you get there.
It is like visiting a doctor thinking that you know what you need.
A coach, like a doctor, will dive into your self-diagnosis by questioning the reality behind it, therefore making sure you are going to leave with what will be the most beneficial.
Having this input into your everyday life has the power to not only open your eyes, but also to open your mind and pump it with dopamine at the options and ways forward that now lay before you.
Talking of ways forward…
Creative Options For Ways Forward
I am about to bust a myth right here.
Coaching is not just a problem and solution session. It is a chance for reflection and thinking which will steer you towards choices for your development that are in sync with your goals.
Let’s say that you burst through the door (or into the virtual meeting… if bursting into one of those is possible) and tell your coach that you need to improve your ability to facilitate meetings for example.
Your coach then may ask you questions such as:
– Why do you feel you need to improve this?
– At what moment did you realise that this was an area of development?
– What would better look like for you?
That is the R section of GROW that we spoke about in the point above this one. Checking in on the reality of that goal you burst in with.
Once you have answered these questions, and we have concluded that it is indeed meeting facilitation that you need to work to develop, rather than other similar areas such as self-confidence, public speaking etc. then we can transition into the O of GROW. Which is options.
The first question a coach could ask for this could be quite a simple one… What could you do to achieve this?
The coach’s intention is then to get you to list the potential choices you have, as well as to advise on any additional helpful ones if necessary.
The coach’s understanding of your goals and reality means that they can use their experience and expertise to perhaps be more creative in what they recommend. Making your journey to that goal not only more impactful, but also more enjoyable.
Supports Your Self-Discipline
Let’s finish off our guided tour of the GROW model by taking a look into our final letter, W.
This W is a vital step in ensuring that you are committed to the actions you have spoken about during your session, meaning they become much more than just lip service.
Following your discussion about options, your coach is likely to ask you for some commitment towards one or more of those W’s – the ways forward. This is essential as it adds healthy pressure on you to get started and to keep moving with your goals, and not to just forget them and toss them aside.
What can we commit to before our next conversation? When will you be able to do this by?
These kinds of questions will help to form an action plan, mounting an attack towards our aspirations between coaching sessions.
When you complete the agreed upon actions, there will be a real feeling of progression as each coaching session arrives, meaning that you can really feel your development happening.
Maybe you’ve reached this part now completely convinced about the powers of coaching and the boost it can give to your progress, or in disbelief about whether this is actually the case.
Perhaps you are collecting those splinters whilst still sat on the fence.
Then I would always recommend taking a look at the world of sports for a very clear example of how a coach can ignite a career.
It is very rare that someone takes it to the top of their game without a coach helping them along the way.
Additionally, come and talk to us about your thoughts and opinions on this topic. It is something that we are very passionate about!
Now that you’ve made it to the end of the blog, have a look at our brief video summary to ensure the main points have stuck…
Alex & The Excel Team
P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges for 2021, call us on +44(0) 1628488 854.
About Excel Communications
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