In her online post In Olympics of Life, We All Could Use a Coach, Mary Schmich delineates the myriad ways a coach makes a difference. She states:
“Most of us are slipping and sliding on the bumpy ice of life. Our execution’s sloppy; we are poorly trained. We need some undistracted steering and grooming, prodding and propping up. We need someone to persuade us when we fall to get back on the ice, the slope, the course. All of us could benefit from someone who always is there to beam good wishes from the sidelines.”
She goes on to outline with wonderful warmth and humor exactly what a coach brings to the table: unconditional positive regard, total support no matter what, undivided attention, and utter faith in potential and possibility. And finally, the beautiful fact that the coach is delighted and grateful to be in service to the greatness of the client. Schmich’s piece was written in 1998 and remains relevant as the years go by.
As a coach, I have specialized in creative geniuses and over the years have been asked—repeatedly— what I do if I think the client won’t really be able to reach the goals they’ve set. My response has always been “who am I to be the judge?” In 25 years of coaching, I have seen clients perform all kinds of unlikely feats, not to mention some moments that felt a lot like miracles. I think that is the point of coaching: when the match is right between the client and coach, an alchemy happens in which the partnership yields more than the sum of its parts. That isn’t to say that a coach shouldn’t give hard feedback about what is going to get in the way of the client’s goal achievement—it isn’t all just warm and fuzzy. No, it is the right conversation at the right time, all resting on the foundation of fierce advocacy and—dare I say it—love.
The Blanchard Coaching Services team defines coaching as “a deliberate process using focused conversations to create an environment for individual growth and purposeful action for sustained improvement.” In other words, a professional coach should help you to articulate your vision for ultimate personal success and to build the plan to get there. They will provide just the right amount of direction and support you need in order to carry out the plan. They will be your champion and advocate on your journey to your best self.
Coaching Just Works
Teaching leaders and managers to use coaching technology and skills helps them create a more trusting and innovative environment. Clients have told us their coach helped turn them from a caterpillar to a butterfly and from the quarterback on the field to the head coach off the field. In the Journal of Change Management, 2014, Anthony Grant’s research revealed that “Participation in the coaching was associated with increased goal attainment, enhanced solution-focused thinking, a greater ability to deal with change, increased leadership self-efficacy and resilience, and decrease in depression.” See? It does sound a little like magic.
About Coaching Tuesday
Coaching Tuesday is a new weekly feature devoted to ideas, the latest research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching. Coaching Tuesday is written by Coaching Services Partners from The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team. Since 2000, our 130 coaches have coached over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services.