What is Coaching?

Now y’all might be thinking, “He is a coach. He’s going to tell me what to do.”

I say “Nay.”

A coach does not tell you what to do.

You: So what the heck does a coach do? 

He listens and asks questions.

You: Okay… my five years old niece can do that until my brain can’t take it. 

Think about this. Thinking is a process of asking questions. When you get better at asking questions, you are improving a thought performance and level of thinking.

Levels of success in almost any industry or area correlate to a person asking great questions.

Ex) Peter Drucker: Instead of asking, “How can I be successful?”, ask “How to be useful?”

A coach is a trained-professional listener and asker. He knows what to listen to and what to ask to help you change – not temporarily but permanently.

Coaching is not therapy, counseling, training, or teaching. Coaches are not mentors. Health coaches are not doctors, or nutritionists. 

Let’s explore how coaching differs from these.

How is a health coach different from a doctor or a nutritionist?

Doctors or nutritionists are experts in their field. Doctors interpret lab testing and give people solutions. They tell people what to do.

If you need specific & tailored advice, ask physicians and nutritionists. If you need help implementing changes that your physician has suggested(such as more exercising, sticking to a restricted diet and life style, stress management through mindfulness practice, work on sleep hygiene to optimize your sleep), that’s where a coach comes in.

How is coaching different from therapy or counseling?

Therapy or counseling is to diagnose and resolve problematic beliefs, relationship issues, behaviors, feelings, and sometimes physical responses. It addresses problems that mess with functioning. 

In coaching, a client works with a coach to clarify goals and identify obstacles and problematic behaviors to create action plans to achieve desired results.

In other words, coaching is more focused on action-oriented goal hitting.

How is coaching different from training and teaching?

Teaching and training involve an expert teacher that imparts knowledge to their students.

Coaching involves the belief which the individual has the answers to their own problem.

How is coaching different from mentoring?

A mentor offers their expertise, knowledge, and advice to those with less experience.

A coach collaborates and partners with a coachee to define “Point B” and co-designing and co-navigating the journey to get there.

How is a coach different from a wise friend?

It is so rare to have friends who are 100% dedicated to help you to solve problems. People are busy doing their stuff.

When friends are 100% dedicated to help, often it’s one way or another. Advice giving or sharing their own issues.

Advice giving can work, but from a sustainable behavior point of view, it is much more effective when people originate visions, plans, and behavior by themselves with the work of their own thinking process. Coaches chase after that.

Also, you may want to maintain your confidential even with your friends. For coaches, confidentiality means a lot to them. It’s one of the code of ethics from ICF(International Coach Federation) and NBHWC(National Board Health and Wellness Coaching). Whatever says in a session stays in a session. Coaches never share what’s been said in their session without their clients’ permission. (If you commit to nuclear bomb a city, that’s a different story)

Coaches create non-judgemental space with unconditional positive regard. You may explore something you never discussed with someone before because of fear of judgment.

Friends may not know what triggers you to change and what you need for sustainable change. A shift in consciousness and truth-seeking rarely happens. Coaches practice to listen for one’s false belief and reflect them back or ask without judgment. Sometimes it is so subtle, but we hear as loud as a bell. When the shift takes place, and the change takes place, and the change is sustainable.

So what is coaching?

Coaching is shifting in awareness – in pursuit of unlocking one’s desire and bringing it to reality. It aims to understand a client, explore what is troubling about their situation, and ascertain how they would like to feel instead. Through exploring themselves & implementing changes, they organically improve their performance and unlock all possibilities. They open a possible way to live in their dreams or the one closest to their dreams – or the one they’ve never imagined before.

Coaching is not limited to helping individuals improve diet and exercise. Coaching addresses the whole person, what it means to thrive mentally and physically, and how to leverage the biology of change.

Coaches are change agents and performance enhancers.

Coaches believe that people are resourceful and capable of change. We know people are way more successful in long-lasting change when they figure out how/what/why to change – by themselves.

A coach won’t give you a fish. A coach won’t teach you fishing, either. A coach will help you to explore what makes fishing important for you, and work on the fundamental truth rather than what’s true for someone else. Then, if you desire, s/he will help figuring out what fish(es) you’d like to catch, what tools you already have, what tools and skills to gain, what to do to get that desired skills and tools, how to use them, and what to do to improve them. Coach sits with you as a skilled thinking partner. 

Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions lead to results.

What to expect me to do as a coach:

As a coach, I assist my clients in connecting dots between who they are and who they want to be. I assist them in understanding themselves and taking incremental behavioral steps that will enable them to succeed in their desired changes – leading to a higher level of life.

What will it look like?:

1. An individual(or a group of people) may take an assessment. This helps them to increase self-awareness.

2. We work on clarifying the clients’ desired state. – they confirm that they are ready and want to do the work to make changes in at least one area. 

3. Clients commit to three to five goals or small steps or experiments each week to enable progress toward the goals and their desired state.

4. In each subsequent coaching session, we focus on

• reviewing progress

• elevating energy

• brainstorming strategies

• meeting challenges

• developing solutions

• generating possibilities

• agreeing on goals for the following week

The end game of coaching is self-determination, which is my clients’ ability to reach their highest level of motivation, engagement, performance, persistence, and creativity.

Now you get the sense of what is coaching – or not. That’s why I offer free 20 minutes, “No Bullshit” session for my prospective client. I often find demonstrating coaching is way easier than explaining it. No bullshit-selling here. I show you what coaching is, and I answer your questions. We get the sense of each other. If the vibe is right, then we decide to work together. If the vibe is not right, then we may find others that resonate.

You can book No Bullshit session here.

I look forward to facilitating your journey.

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