When a friend said that he doesn’t want to go to coaching because he doesn’t want someone to tell him what to do, I realised how mistaken people could be when it comes to understanding what coaching is about.
Like many things, it’s easier to explain what it is not:
❌ Coaching is not telling someone else what to do. We’re (life) coaches, not sports coaches, and using the word ‘coach’ can confuse you, but we won’t give you a set of rules to follow.
✅ Instead, it’s checking with the client what they think will be good for them to do, checking that it’s really their own wish (not someone else’s wish or pressure from outside), and looking together at ways in which they’ll be able to achieve it.
❌ Coaching is not giving advice: We are not friends, family, or mentors. And we can’t possibly have all the life experience needed to cover every single issue one might bring up.
✅ What coaches offer is a collaborative process in which together you check what would be the best thing for you to do, according to your needs, not according to what the coach may think is a good idea. Saying that, a good coach will know how to share information with you in a way that you’ll be interested to explore the options they’ve shared with you, as one of a set of possibilities. They’ll then encourage you to make your own decision about whether this is something you’d like to try.
❌ Coaching is not therapy: In therapy, you look at the past to give you ways to heal difficulties and wounds to cope at present.
✅ While the way we train our (life) coaches has strong therapeutic aspects, and while people can possibly go through a meaningful healing process with their coaches, coaching at its root is about looking at the here and the now, at this moment, and building a positive and optimised future.
❌ Coaching is not consulting: Consultants are experts in their fields and tell you what you should best to do solve problems which are usually happening to many people or situations like yours. They usually do it from their own experience or collective experience. They tend to use formulas to solve a problem.
✅ In coaching, we, by definition, believe that we can’t as coaches be the experts on someone else’s life. We see our clients as experts in their own life, that maybe have lost their way a bit, or are confused. We believe that it’s OK to sometimes feel this way, and that’s why we facilitate a journey of discovery so our clients can gain once again a sense of trust in themselves and in the things which they believe are important.
The ICCI founder
If you think that you too will be good at facilitating someone else’s process of growth, and you can draw satisfaction and joy from empowering another person, we encourage you to do the following:
1. Take our questionnaire. It’ll help you to get a good understanding if you have the personality of a coach and coaching abilities.
2. Join our flagship training: Foundation for Coaching course. It’ll give you a solid understanding of how to help people effectively and will allow you to test if coaching is the right path for you.
If you would like to get coaching for yourself, you can look at our Free Coaching Platform. It’s a directory of our former students, who have agreed to offer some coaching sessions for free to give back to the community.