Professional Coaching for a Layman

“Coaching helps People find their path to materialize their Dreams & Aspirations which they may have been living unconsciously”-Nida Khanam

I had never assumed that someday I would become a Professional Coach who would assist people and be a part of their journey in making their dreams come true. But during my stint into corporates, a pattern started establishing that led me to coaching and I just followed that evolving pattern in me. 

The transition from HR Leader to a Coach, I imagined would be a natural progression as that’s what I have been doing in all my Leadership roles as Internal Coach. However, when I started engaging and practicing as a Professional coach, I realised that while my HR experience supports me to understand and partner better with my clients to build Trust & Relationship, HR and Coach are two different aspects and requires you to wear different hats while performing your roles.

I can’t imagine work that is more rewarding than what I get to do as a coach. People just open up about their desires with a hope to receive a clear plan to move towards the success. Taking the momentum forward, let me introduce you to the real world of Coaching. 

Many individuals, teams, businesses and organisations simply don’t understand coaching; their understanding is either mixed with training, counselling or mentoring and as a result it either turns out to be a complete fiasco or leaves damaging effects. 

Coaching Profession or the word COACH sounds too interesting and appealing, but when one decides to become a Coach, it should be driven by an inner desire to be a Coach with an understanding that it is a huge responsibility to undertake. 

Sadly, some self-proclaimed & untrained Coaches take fancy to the profession and cause more harm than good!

I don’t mean to disrespect anyone however, there are certain skills and competencies one learns with practice and education to be a Professional Coach. I believe Coaching is the second most unorganised and unregulated industry globally and the chances are more for the damage.

You must be wondering that how am I sure of the damage or the skill gap. There have been many such instances where the prospective client told that, “you are saying you will not advice how to find a job but when I spoke to XYZ s/he said they will” or  “You are charging 2X though the other person is just charging X”, and when you ask them about the authenticity they may not even know if those are certified & accredited coaches and they would make real impact or bring desired results. We shouldn’t be coaching people who are really not coachable because it may never bring the results and we refuse them but other coaches, who are no therapist, claim to help them. 

It is crucial to understand what coaching & its mechanics is. Firstly, Coaching is a very specific practice that should not in any way be confused with any other profession. Coaching is vastly different from facilitation or training, it is not the same as mentoring and never ever be mixed with counselling or therapy, which we have unfortunately seen. As a coach we need to be authentic to serve and support our clients in the best manner but not by false commitments. Secondly, reading books or social media on coaching, or assisting a coach or a bit of knowledge in a given area does not in any way qualify one to be a Coach. The difference between a chemist & a Doctor clearly fits in here as an example. Another example is, if we hire a physiotherapist and s/he is not proficient than the intensity of damage is beyond explanation.

 Just like other specialist areas of expertise that impacts people, it is vital that the Coaching practitioner undergoes training, has extensive knowledge of Coaching practice and is able to demonstrate not only the right skills, but also the right behaviour. In addition to this, it is also essential without exception that standards and ethics are not only upheld but are also taken extremely seriously. Coaches are expected to be Authentic with self and with Clients. 

There are many recognised coaching institutes worldwide who provide Coach training & once you are certified you may pursue further accreditation if you wish to.

A Coach has to demonstrate and act leading Trust, Authenticity, facilitating results and learning, Powerful Questioning, Active listening, Open communication, driving clients’ agenda, planning actions and setting goals and reviewing progress and above all maintaining ethical standards.

Let’s get into the Coaching fundamentals deeper and understand the science. Coaching is about unlocking an individual’s or team’s potential in order that they can maximise and improve for themselves, their own performance. Coaching is not about teaching or providing instruction or advising. It is not about telling people what to do but to ask powerful questions.

People have started understanding the value and results Coaching brings in the life. There may be still challenge of breaking the myth of people who feel the coach is assigned to fix them or punish them and to those who feel if someone gets to know s/he has hired a Coach will bring negative branding to the image.

Challenge is also with people who are ready to invest on vacations, movies and expensive dinners but not on finding and defining their own life purposes but keep cribbing of not achieving or blaming others.

Real coaching actually is about powerful questioning, thought-provoking and creative process that enables people to make conscious decisions and empowers them to become leaders in their own lives by taking ownership and responsibility. The role of a coach is to co-create the journey with the coachee and support her/him to carve the path to visible goals, achieve results and measure unmeasurable. 

Coaching enhances one’s ability to learn, self-aware, accountable, focused to achieve desired goals. Coaching empowers a person to see possibilities, opportunities beyond issues and challenges by focusing on Future and not by looking into the past. Coaching brings results for an individual as well as Organisations in big way.

To summarize the Coaching benefits – 

  • Coaching helps people discover & accept self.
  • The Process is driven for and by the Coachee with the support of a Coach.
  • It defines what is important to them and what they want. It helps people tap into a greater purpose.
  • Coaching helps people discover their own solutions without getting lost in the problems.
  • It Encourages and explores creativity & exploration.
  • Coaching challenges people to be open to possibilities, break through limiting beliefs, and take actions and strategize.
  • Encourages to be courageous & be risk pro for growth.
  • Provides structured result-based process.
  • Enables to create milestones to measure performance and progress.
  • Results are long term and sustained.
  • Connect an individual with self and organisational in better way.
  • Increases the employee engagement & performance.
  • Supports development of high performing & potential employees.
  • Helps build team engagement & driving common vision of the organisation.

If I have to summarize here, “It is exhilarating to hear countless stories around the world of the deeper impact of their coaching interventions. The outcomes are wide ranging. My own experience and learning being a Coach has been amazing and enriching. There are different niches coaches are operating into Leadership, Career, Life, Spiritual, Wellness, Relationship and business and few sub niches to name are Image, Communication, Mindset, Appreciative enquiry, emotional intelligence, financial, productivity, performance”. Will talk more of Coaching and benefits in upcoming articles.

About CoachNida Khanam is a practicing Professional ACC-ICF & Brain based Certified Coach in the areas of Executive, Mindset & Career. She is also on board of HR advisory & a Speaker on different platforms. She is an IIMC & AMU alumnus who has worked into HR Leadership& transformational roles for diversified organizations like Rockwell Automation, Grohe-Lixil & JSL to name a few. Besides being a coach, speaker, and Advisor, she is an Entrepreneur too.]

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Anunaya Tandon

Anunaya Tandon