Top performers in every area from sports through arts to business have coaches to help them reach and maintain the highest levels of performance.
The benefits of coaching
Just imagine a combination of your best friend, your most cherished teacher, your most hard-nosed manager, and your most positive guru available and committed to your personal development.
How much more will you achieve when these resources are available to you?
A coach will provide you all of this and more.
Seems a bit like counseling or therapy?
There are superficial similarities between coaching and therapy but there are fundamental differences. Coaching essentially is about commitment and development in the present moment to achieve future goals and outcomes.
Many forms of therapy are about fixing problems from the past. In coaching you might discuss past issues but this is only in the context of future goals.
Are there different forms of coaching?
There are many different names for different forms of coaching. Lots of coaches and coach schools have marketing names for different types of coaching. In broad terms you can fit most forms of coaching into five categories.
Peak Performance Coaching
This is very common with sports where a coach is generally a specialist in a particular sport. Peak performance coaches also appear in business, a sales coach for example.
Often peak performance coaches will have specialist skills such as NLP or Hypnosis. Many coaches have benefited from a good NLP Training Course.
You will find coaches working in markets that they have credibility in. For example I get a lot of clients from the coaching, training and NLP community simply because they are circles I move in and I am known in them. As a result I have more experience and reference clients in these Coaching is usually about personal discovery, so coaches do not need skills and experience from the context they are coaching in. markets. But since coaching is more about the client’s personal exploration and goals it is not necessary for coaches to have experience of the context.
Life coaches cover a broader area and might be looking at different areas of a client’s life and their relationship to each other.
Executives coaching is usually about the challenges and issues of leadership and can cover anything from personal style, stress reduction to finding your passion for the role. Lots of executive coaches will use a personality profiling tool as a vehicle for their client’s to explore and develop their outcomes.
Special events Coaching
Some coaches will specialize in a niche area like presentations or writing and publishing books. Often they have specific experience, skills or qualifications in the area and they may not conform to traditional coaching models because of their ‘insider’ knowledge.
Accelerated Success BreakThrough Coaching Sessions
This is a highly specialized area of coaching involving leading edge psychological, NLP and Hypnosis tools to facilitate great changes very quickly. There are only a small number of coaches skilled in this area and also not all clients are suitable for this approach. Hence there is a lot of pre-qualification before using this form of coaching. For those it suits it has great impact very quickly.
What happens on coaching programmes?
Coaches are very individual in their approach. Also coaching is more about the relationship between client and coach so there is no set format or approach. Some coaches work just by telephone and / or email, whilst others stick exclusively to face to face interventions. A lot is Dependant on how you set up the coaching programme from the initial consultation.
Any coaching programme should start with an initial consultation where the programme can be set up. This would include duration of the programme, the sessions and overall outcomes and a whole raft of other areas that your coach will take you through.
After this typically sessions will be about updating from the previous session, clarifying outcomes for the current sessions and then targeted discussions of the current issues. The session will finish with action plans for the client to take away and complete. That said each session can be as individual as the client and the coach want.
Finding a coach
Since coaching is such an individual context it is difficult to fix criteria for finding a coach. Although some general rules of thumb do apply.
Coaching is all about a relationship between the client and the coach. Therefore in the initial consultation if the client does not feel they have great rapport that will allow them to be open and comfortable then it probably is not worth continuing.
It is also worth talking to your prospective coach about previous clients, experience and approach. Often when picking a coach it would be worth talking to previous clients.
The right coach will give you great value for money and could take you further than you had ever achieved without their support. It makes sense to spend a little time to ensure you get the right coach for you. You can find more in depth articles on finding a great coach on my website.