“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.“
– John Wooden
What comes to mind when you think of coaching? Is it one word or a flurry of them? When the question was raised in our last webinar of 2022 (how time flies!), I gave a long and deep thought to what coaching is to me. I thought of all the words and emotions coaching has sparked in me. I won’t deny that I also tried thinking of some fancy vocabulary. But the two words that spontaneously came to my mind were – safe space. At its core, coaching provides a safe, non-judgmental space for you to be who you are.
So, how do coaches describe coaching? As the question was posed to the panel members, there were some fascinating responses. In one word, Dr. Komal Smriti, PCC, SP, and Associate Trainer at Coacharya, said coaching was illuminating. Meenakshi Iyer, an ACC coach running her own coaching, mentoring, and training practice called North Star Solutions, described coaching as co-creation. It is, indeed, a partnership between the coach and the client. For Gurbinder Punn, an ACC coach working as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Bahwan International Group Holding, coaching is evolving.
The ‘Aha’ Moment
When we talk about the power of coaching, what are we really referring to? During a coaching conversation, there are times when a question makes you stop and think. There is a pause, and within the pause, there is reflection. One might think, “I never thought of this before!” A revelation, that’s what it feels like. The question and the answer brewing within sometimes makes one go speechless, while other times, it brings a precious smile to one’s face. And this, my dear readers, is what the power of coaching is. The ability to provoke thought, so much so that it makes you think twice. Then comes the surprise that you had the answer within you, all along! Isn’t that just amazing?
Talking about the moment that deepened her belief in the power of coaching, Meenakshi spoke about a client who was facing self-esteem issues and was unsure of themselves. As the coachee’s sessions progressed, she not only made great strides herself but also spoke of bringing a family member under the ambit of coaching. “This person went from feeling so helpless to coming to the other end and feeling like they could be a resource to someone else. To see them finding that inside of them was truly transformational for me to witness.”
Apart from personal development, coaching has emerged as a powerful tool to navigate professional challenges as well. In a world where the competition is cut-throat and performance pressures run high, we inevitably feel the need to talk to someone. Komal rightly pointed out that in such fast-paced, goal-oriented environments, people hardly ever find the space to see themselves. “When these people achieve a breakthrough, you can feel the weight getting lifted off their shoulders.”
I recently read somewhere that just because you fit in, doesn’t mean you belong. One of the questions often asked in coaching conversations is what the universe wants from us. It is a crucial question that when answered truthfully, leads you toward who and where you really wish to be. Gurbinder shared an endearing story of a young colleague finding his true calling in a coaching session. “During the course of the sessions, he asked – ‘What am I doing here?’ I felt this is the magic of coaching. It’s giving people what they’re really looking for.”
You may be a leader grappling with professional challenges or a person dealing with fears and doubts. You could be facing career stagnancy or someone trying to move through grief. Coaching provides a safe space, irrespective of who you are and what you’re dealing with. While at the end of the sessions, people achieve the goals they set out with, it is really about the journey and the small breakthroughs along the way which truly make coaching a force to reckon with.
I might tell you what coaching is and how truly powerful it is, but the fact of the matter is, it is understood best from experience. I would encourage you to watch this webinar to hear real stories about how coaching has been a game-changer. Please do share your thoughts with us on CoachNook or in the comments below. This New Year, I hope you experience coaching and let it bring to you, your aha moment. Have a look at the courses Coacharya is bringing in 2023.
Webinar: Power of Coaching
Like to listen instead? We have a podcast!
This session is also available as audio-only on our podcast. Listen below or find Coach to Lead wherever you listen to podcasts.