The Power of Coaching

Did you go for ‘extra classes’ in your primary school days, or are your children attending them? Cast your mind back to the time you were growing up. Did you learn anything from your friends that have shaped you?  And how about the life defining stories your mother and aunties faithfully told you?
In organisations and businesses, coaching is an excellent way of improving attitudes, skills and performance. (Visual Photos)
In organisations and businesses, coaching is an excellent way of improving attitudes, skills and performance. (Visual Photos)

Did you go for ‘extra classes’ in your primary school days, or are your children attending them? Cast your mind back to the time you were growing up.

Did you learn anything from your friends that have shaped you?  And how about the life defining stories your mother and aunties faithfully told you?

Perhaps your manager has told you about his desire to coach you, or you may have seen a coaching relationship improve the quality of life of a friend or the performance of a colleague even if it was not called coaching at the time.

Take a look at my game plan
Coaching is a very familiar function in sport but outside of it, particularly in Africa, relatively little is known about it.

In this article, I will show you what coaching is, what it isn’t, and outline its basic principles. I will also show you its origins and when and how it is used. 

If an application does not make a difference in the lives of people it is meaningless and soon it gets abandoned.  Therefore more importantly, I will help you to see the amazing benefits of coaching that clients gain personally or professionally when they experience it.

Discover how, where and when coaching started
I’ll begin by recounting to you how coaching evolved.  At school I loved history but I was terrible at memorizing dates, so I promise you I am incapable of boring you with dates if you also don’t have a flair for them.

Coaching was born in the United States in the 1980s. In those early years, it was common to obtain the services of analysts to help clients overcome their problems.

These practitioners most of whom had a psychology related background referred to their clients as patients.

Over time, it became clear to the practitioners that many of their clients were normal people suffering from no specific condition.

The only thing they found with them was that they lacked vitality and had a strong desire for greater dynamism in their lives. 

Those therapists who dealt exclusively with this group became the first coaches, thus creating a new profession.

The amazing effect of coaching caused it to spread very rapidly, much of it through word of mouth by contented clients.

Within a decade the profession grew significantly mainly in the United States which enjoys over seventy percent of all practicing coaches.

Today,  coaching is widely practiced in USA, Canada, Singapore, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Japan in particular, transforming business and creating self awareness, personal success and fulfillment for many people.

What then is coaching and what is it not?
What then is coaching? You will ask. How does it work? And what skills does a coach need to make him or her effective?

In this article I examine coaching in businesses and in organisations and reflect on situations where it provides solutions.

In organisations and businesses, coaching is an excellent way of improving attitudes, skills and performance. It is also an excellent tool for addressing relational challenges before they get out of hand.

Viewed from a broader perspective, coaching is working with clients to achieve what they desire in their life.

It is important for people to learn the value of believing in themselves, while working consistently and persistently at whatever they set their minds on. 

As human beings, we all have incredible potential and capacity.

We all have dreams and aspirations. What makes the difference is how we develop those ideas or dreams into reality.

The coach is that person who helps another, to nurture the dream and vision until it becomes a reality. More importantly therefore, coaching is about results that are measurable and quantifiable.

Unlike what the originators of the profession believed, whilst some coaching clients may be affected by specific incidents, at the time they reach out for support such as disappointments, accidents, bereavement, redundancies, or personal feelings of failure, many successful and fulfilled people who simply desire to achieve more in life  have benefited tremendously from coaching.

There is no reason why anyone should be embarrassed to seek coaching support if they need help to deal with any particular issue.

The coach understands what you are going through and will respect your feelings. 

By working with you persistently and consistently, he or she will help turn the stumbling blocks in your life into stepping stones.

Coaching has similarities with a number of other disciplines.  I’ll end this article by contrasting coaching with mentoring; two disciplines that have much in common and yet uniquely different.

Mentoring often takes place around a specific job or task, and mentors are perceived to be more experienced. They are often older, seen to be wiser and have the advantage of seniority.

On the other hand, coaches don’t have to be specialists in the field in which they are coaching even though many of them do.

This has the advantage of providing them with a sense of distance and objectivity. The key to a coach’s success lies in their ability to help their clients find their own answers in their situations.

The result of an effective coaching process leaves clients with a greater feeling of clarity in their thinking and emotions, providing an incredible sense of fulfillment and momentum that is often unimaginable. Someone has rightly said that “coaching may not be magic but its effects are certainly magical.”

In this article, I have shown you the humble beginnings of coaching and how the concept quickly gained clarity and popularity, first in the United States and later in other industrialized counties.

I have also explained what coaching is and what it isn’t. In just three decades, coaching has made a profound impact on the personal and professional lives of individuals as well as businesses and corporations, and it will remain vital to their success in the decades to come.

Kofi Hagan is an experienced mentor and coach. He is the founder of Unlimited Impact Coaching & Leadership which offers life changing coaching experiences to those looking for a greater cause in life, and for businesses and organisations, assists their managers achieve a dramatically enhanced result.To learn more about coaching, contact Kofi Hagan at amkhagan@gmail.com