FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When we think about the challenges that we all face today – the constant change and increasing demands in all areas of our lives, we realized that being able to flex and adapt is no longer a nice to have it is essential.The chameleon is the master of adaptability. It can react speedily to changing situations and environments and find out how best to fit in. Like the chameleon we have developed the ability to look in two directions at the same time – backwards to learn from the past and forwards to see where we want to go. The world is constantly changing and we want to partner with our clients to develop their chameleon skills to adapt to their changing world.
You can find definitions for coaching on the website of International Coaching Federation (ICF)and Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA) (links?) We definitely see coaching as a partnership between individuals for the purpose of creating change. The coach is there to support the individual or team on a journey towards their goals and objectives.
When you want to make change in your life or work, and maybe you are not even sure of exactly what you want, then your coach can help you explore your reality, your aspirations and options. You will gain new insights and perspectives and be able to make decisions and take steps towards your goals.
It is not always about needing a coach. There is as role for a coach:
- When you are feeling stuck or wanting support to achieve specific goals and/or objectives a coach can partner with you on that journey providing support and encouragement, as well as accountability.
- When you just want someone to listen to you and be your thinking partner, helping you explore and clarify situations, brainstorm options and challenge your perceptions.
- When your team is struggling to work effectively together and deliver results and needs to build safety, trust and cohesion.
The major difference between coaching and therapy is that therapy goes back to understand and deal with the past, whilst coaching is about starting from the present and working forward. The underlying belief is that we have the ability to change the future and can make a new start today. It does not deny the past but focuses on the positive possibilities of a different future.
You can be in therapy and coaching at the same time, but they will be for different issues and objectives. If your coach thinks that our issue or objective would be better dealt with in therapy they will advise you accordingly.
Coaching can be appropriate in many different situations. Some of the most common are:
- Leadership development at all levels.
- Coaching to create cohesive high value teams at all levels.
- Transitional coaching to prepare employees /managers for promotion to a higher level or to a new area/location.
- Graduate intake to transition them into the world of work. • Executive coaching. • Coaching in new skills.
- Life coaching which is the heading given to individuals focusing on their personal life rather than their work life.
This may seem like a strange question. However the reality is that coaching is about change. When you gain new awareness about your self and your life, you cannot unsee them and this leads for an acceptance of your reality and the options that are available for you to make changes. Sometimes there are unintended consequences.
We warn individuals and organisations about this. People sometimes make major life decisions, to change jobs, leave relationships and take on brave new challenges. Yes, there are risks that coaching will change more than just your perspective. But the choice is always with the coachee, who weighs the risk of change versus the risk of staying the same.
When you decide to go into coaching you may find one, or more of the following benefits. You will:
- Establish and take action towards achieving goals.
- Become more self-reliant.
- Gain more job and life satisfaction.
- Contribute more effectively to your team and the organisation.
- Take greater responsibility and accountability for actions and commitments.
- Work more easily and productively with others (boss, direct reports, peers).
- Communicate more effectively.
When you take on a coaching programme for your organisation. You will find that it:
- Empowers individuals and encourages them to take responsibility.
- Increases employee and staff engagement.
- Improves individual performance.
- Helps identify and develop high potential employees.
- Helps identify both organizational and individual strengths and development opportunities.
- Helps to motivate and empower individuals to excel.
- Demonstrates organizational commitment to human resource development.
When we are coaching a group. the focus is on a specific topic or goal that is of interest to everyone in the group. The objective is to unpack the topic and to enhance the skills of each individual to implement in their own lives. It can benefit the organisation by increasing the skill of the whole group but it is not focused on the need for the individuals to interact with each other.
When we are coaching a team, it is about their shared goal or vision that they are working towards. It is about building the relationships in the team, creating trust and establishing values and behaviours that will support them in creating a shared purpose with a view to improved performance and delivery of the team as a whole, for the benefit of the organisation. The individual team members will also benefit as part of the process.
The relationship between a coach and their client is confidential and can involve a deep level of sharing and vulnerability. When you choose a credentialed coach you can be reassured that they have invested time in their own development, that they have the skills and competencies that are attached to, and recognised by a Professional Body and that sign a pledge to an ethical code.
You would not want to go to a doctor or health professional who was not qualified, so if you would not put your physical wellbeing into the hands of an amateur, why would you put your whole self, mind, body and spirit into the hands of an amateur?