What is coaching?
What is coaching? This fast-growing industry we all talk about.
Sometimes people ask that, and do not know what coaching really is. I think it is very important to clarify. I will give my own definition, according to my experience as a coach and having also tried psychotherapy.
Coaching is a conversational process. It usually involves 2 people building up a relationship, the coach and the client of course.
The client usually knows that something is off and wants to truly change an attitude or reach a particular goal, but struggles with how to do that. The coach gives the tools for that and triggers certain questions that are challenging, but are needed.
I'd like to roleplay a very simple conversation for you:
Client: I have no time to exercise. I need to work a lot and then in the evening I want to go home to my family, and it is usually 8 pm when I do so.
Coach: What makes you think there is no time?
Client: I simply cannot find the time for that. Too busy
Coach: What have you tried so far?
Client: Not much, I just made a membership but I never go.
Coach: I would that look like if you were to leave the office an hour earlier?
Client: My boss would kill me.
Coach: How do you know that what you just said isn't an assumption or a fear?
Client: I don't. I guess I might try.
Coach: Great. How would it look like, your ideal routine, if you could try 30 minutes of sports then?
Again, this conversation is based on the fact that the client wants to change something he/she is uncomfortable with. The beauty of the challenging questions of coaching is that you realize that some things are just the product of our assumptions and our pre-concepts. If we make room to change our time management and priorities, we can be really surprised. However, changes are scary.
THIS IS WHY THE COACH HOLDS YOUR HAND. and provides the courage, emotional support, empathy and strength you need.
I'd like to suggest you to watch this video, where I interview a colleague of mine, Flooris, about the difference between psychology and psychotherapy.
Usually psychology is indeed more retrospective than coaching. I always anyways believe that a good coach should study concepts of psychology too, to understand how the human mind works and have better insights.