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The Benefits of Coaching

Updated: Mar 31, 2023


Coaching can occur in many settings. Most people are familiar with coaches in sports but personal or executive coaching is pretty different than a sports coach. You can also find speaking coaches, financial coaches and many other kinds of coaches available to you to help fine tune just about any area of your life.

The coaching we will talk about here can play a pivotal role in the personal and professional development of people in their daily lives. Who wouldn't want someone walking with them through all the challenges and opportunities they encounter every day?


What is coaching?


Coaching is a partnership where a coach asks open, inquisitive, searching questions, listening deeply to a coachee's answers, to help them become more effective in the present and achieve goals and ambitions in the future. The coaching role is not one of an advisor with like experiences (like a mentor) or providing direction (like a trainer) but instead one where the coach walks alongside while discovery, growth and challenge guide the wide range of topics discussed.


Perhaps I should title this post 'My Benefits from Coaching' because I want to speak to some of the direct benefits that I have experienced through my own coaching process. It has been so impactful on me that I want to work with others in the same way.


My start with coaching


I was at a place where my youngest son was in all-day kindergarten. I was successfully working as a business analyst and project manager in technology. I had met all my personal and professional goals that I defined along my career but I still had half my career left! I didn't want to do more of the same for all that time - I was looking to define the next challenge for myself. I only mention that my youngest son had moved to all-day kindergarten because it was truly a personal turning point for me to be able to focus on what was next for me. Coaching can happen at any point for people (not just a turning point or time of change) and be of great value.


I was searching for what might be next but didn't particularly have a process to do that. In addition, I wanted some challenge in figuring out how I could make more time for my wellbeing, spending my time on my priorities and didn't know where to start.


Enter my coach, a former coworker, who I connected with years before. I told her I can only describe that moment with this quote: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I saw her LinkedIn post at the time and reached out. We continue to work together and I don't doubt the power of the process for a second.


What was so great about it? Here are the biggest gains for me since starting coaching:


Enhanced self-awareness


I consider myself self-aware overall but coaching helped me recognize more of my reactions, defaults, limiting beliefs and desires. Sitting with things more than I had ever done before brought me more recognition of how I operate so that I could then decide what changes might serve me better moving forward.


Conscious, purposeful exploration


Don't let this scare you! Having someone walking alongside you with your best interest in mind was comforting in every sense. I was looking for what might be next for me and that meant exploring things outside my normal thoughts. Coaching offered a safe place to do some of that exploration.


While my coach asked insightful questions, I would answer but then she'd ask for more information or why. It made me consider things that I said. I'd think more or journal more about it and ask myself, "Yeah, why is that?".


When something we discussed resonated with me, I began digging in and asking myself "What could that look like for me?". This was a new process for me and a fruitful one.

The value of reflection


Purposeful reflection has been one of the biggest benefits for me. I truly don't feel like I would have arrived where I am without the coaching conversations. My coach talked many times of the power in the process and until you are walking through it, that may not seem of such value.


Having the space for processing my thoughts, and verbalizing my experiences and my desires just wasn't as effective through journaling, walks or runs or conversations with others. Each conversation with my coach helped me uncover information that I was not able to on my own and reframe my thoughts into ones that served me better.


Challenge


While a coach may not present a physical challenge with miles to run or number of workouts to complete (at least that wasn't one of my initial challenges), a coach can push where there is hard work to be done in order to grow - new ways of thinking.


I do have limiting beliefs that no longer serve me and I learned that I can challenge them. I wasn't so pompous as to think that I didn't have limiting beliefs but I hadn't taken time to consider what they would be. This was real growth for me.


Maybe you need a coach to give you a physical challenge though too. I'm there now and I had no idea what my body was still capable of because my mind was making excuses and holding me back. A coach will help you challenge physical and mental limiting beliefs and experience growth from it.


More Accountability = More Results


Something that I learned about myself along the way was that if I was answerable to a commitment that I made (which is made in each coaching session), I will do it. I set actionable goals for myself and then in the next session, I speak to what I did to move that goal forward, or not.


Let's be clear, I had to take action. And in many cases, I took massive action (as Tony Robbins says). I saw big changes and gained momentum where I felt stagnant previously.


I have since built all kinds of accountability for myself in all the areas that matter to me because I know how effective it is for me to continue to take massive action.



Building something worthwhile (for me, a new journey utilizing a skillset that I already had) and of lasting value will take time (more time than we think) and there will be a cost associated with it. Things of value cost more, and they usually don’t happen over night. My coaching experience blew my expectations out of the water - reflection, exploration, challenge and accountability set me up for growth I never knew to plan for. I wish that kind of benefit for you as well.


Have you had a transformative coaching experience too? I want to hear about it! Are you interested in learning more?


Comment to the post or email me at mdrake@thinkGROWTHservices.com

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