When asking the question on "What is Coaching?", let us start with discussing the role the Coach and the Client play in this partnership.
The role of the Coach is three fold,
The role of the Client is simpler but difficult - have an open mindset to explore the change needed, create their own "rule book" for the change, and be accountable to oneself.
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony." - Mahatma Gandhi
In essence coaching is a structured mechanism to provide individuals (Client) with self-awareness, first consciously and then unconsciously, to evolve and better their multifaceted life with the help of a catalyst (Coach). Coaching is Client driven and forward looking - we believe that a client is whole and we work with them to uncover the many complex layers to propel them forward. Inscape Solutions follows the principles of Humanistic Psychology:
The International Coaching Federations (ICF) defines coaching as "a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential".
Coaching is not therapy and/or a teaching or lesson session. A Coach does not tell a Client the concerns they have, how to fix these concerns or create a plan for the Client.
The foundation of Coaching is to create and increase self-awareness. The Oxford Dictionary defines aware as "knowing or realizing something" and self-awareness as "knowledge and understanding of your own character". The more you understand yourself, the more clarity you will have of your actions, their impact, and your surroundings. The same way as you would use a magnifying glass for sight or an amplifier for sound, Coaching is the tool that enhances your ability to be aware and keeps an open channel to your mind.
The process of Coaching is an iterative one to address causes and not merely symptoms. Many great leaders and coaches describe the journey similarly and I will attempt to translate this in my words. When you start the journey to explore your mind, you are in a state of Unconscious Incompetency, you are not aware of all your potential and strengths, and what may be holding you back. Through self-awareness you are Consciously aware of your Incompetency and actively work to be Consciously Competent. This is still a state that takes energy and over time and practice you develop Unconscious Competency. Our simplest analogy is of a baby transitioning from crawling to walking, they don't even know that they can walk! There is always a wonder in their eyes when they take their first step and then a motivation and drive to keep walking. In the early stages this still requires concentration and energy but very soon they are running without thinking and everyone is trying to keep up. Coaching takes your mind and abilities from your first wonderful step to running!
The product of Coaching is clarity, increased belief in oneself, self-motivation, choice, action, commitment and responsibility to self. After hundreds of hours of coaching multiple clients, here are some of their thoughts on how coaching has helped them: