What Is Coaching
Coaches have been around for thousands of years…
Except in the old days, they weren’t called coaches -- they were known as advisors, counsellors and guides.
In the mythical tale of the great King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin was the king’s prophet, magician and advisor. With Merlin by his side, giving him insight and direction, King Arthur successfully fought and won against everything from dragons to invading armies.
In India’s ancient historical records, you can learn about the true story of Chanakya who was a philosopher and considered a pioneer of political science. Chanakya was royal advisor to one of the most powerful rulers in India – the founder of the great Maurya empire – Chandragupta Maurya.
Chandragupta is credited for unifying India, something he would have failed to do without the guidance of his wise advisor Chanakya.
This same pattern, a ruler or leader turning to an advisor to achieve goals, happens again and again throughout history.
Mark Anthony served as Julius Caesar’s trusted general and unofficial advisor in ancient Rome. Yelü Chucai was the advisor to Genghiz Khan, the fierce and powerful Mongol leader who rose from extreme poverty to rule most of the known world in the 12th century.
Benjamin Franklin advised the leaders of the early colonies in the United States and Winston Churchill leaned on Frederick Lindemann during the World War 2.
More recently, Bill Gates turns to Warren Buffet for brilliant business guidance. Even Sir Richard Branson checked in with British airline entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker for his wisdom and input when he was starting out with Virgin Atlantic.
Widely featured in myth, folklore and in actual, recorded history, the input of a special group of men and women who advised rulers, royalty and military leaders, transformed the course of global history.
And these special women and men are still doing that today.
Coaches are often the unnamed heroes behind some of the greatest accomplishments by leaders and individuals.
They upgrade performance and satisfaction in business and in the workplace as well as purpose and fulfillment in life through formal and informal questions, feedback and accountability.
Coaches regularly work with specific coaching strategies and frameworks but this isn’t always the case.
The world’s top coaches often go with a “play it by ear” approach which means they might work with a strategic coaching framework as a foundational tool, but they will adapt and change their coaching style and direction based on the in-the-moment needs, wants and challenges of their client – an intuitive approach that is the result of many hours of coaching experience.
All coaches essentially guide clients as they work with their inner and outer world to make changes in their mental and physical environment, so they can rise up to their highest potential, reach their goals and consciously design a life of success and happiness.
Unbreakable Principles Of Powerful Coaching
A clear definition of coaching gives you a 50,000-foot overview.
It gives you an idea and a high-level look at what coaching is and what coaches do.
But a definition is only the beginning.
If you want to rise up to the top of the industry…
If you’d like to be one of best coaches in the world…
You must first go high and then go deep with an understanding of the essentials or principles of coaching.
There are countless principles out there and if you try and follow all of them, especially at the start, you’ll end up overwhelmed, frustrated and ready to give up.
And we don’t want that.
In this Chapter, we’re exploring 3 unbreakable principles of successful coaching.
These are must-have insights that support you in your role as a coach.
According to a survey of 140 coaches by Harvard Business Review, the top 3 reasons why coaches are engaged, especially in the areas of leadership and business, is so they can help:
Develop high potentials or facilitate transition
Act as a sounding board
Address derailing behavior
It’s clear that, even in a business environment, a coach’s role extends beyond things work-related objectives like goal achievement, productivity and performance.
“Developing high potentials” and “addressing derailing behavior” are about individual development or growth.
And that’s the heart of coaching, so let’s dive into it.
3 PRINCIPLES OF
A coach’s job is to develop individual growth.
Coaches do not coach organizations or groups.
It’s not about getting to a “company vision” or “revenue goal.”
Coaches coach people. Period.
Here’s the thing…
No matter which way you look at it, the success or failure of a group, organization, company or community depends on just one element: People.
That’s why a coach needs to focus on guiding, empowering and supporting individuals to be the best they can be so they can grow, to enhance and to uplevel their emotional, mental and even physical skills.
The best coaches in the world can adapt their coaching style to work with groups and then drill down so they can truly connect and make an impact on each individual in the group.
When a coach does this well, major goals, even massive, moonshot-style goals, can be achieved.
And crazy, out-of-this-world achievements will start to take place.
A coach believes every single person can achieve their highest potential.
A truly great coach believes that with the right guidance and support, every single person on earth has the potential to achieve their biggest, boldest, wildest goals and dreams.
A great coach believes this down to their soul.
It’s part of why they are incredibly effective at what they do.
No matter how much or how little a person has achieved, a coach must have the ability to see how far and how high their client can go before the client can see the top of the mountain on their own.
Your client needs you to believe in them even when they don’t believe in themselves.
Author Ken Poirot says, “There is no greater power and support you can give someone than to look them in the eye, and with sincerity and conviction say, 'I believe in you.’”
This is absolutely true.
Your faith, trust and belief in what your clients can do, achieve and experience will fuel them through the hard times and help them get to the top.
A coach is committed to becoming a lifelong learner.
World-class coaches are always in “learning mode”. They never stop looking for ways to upgrade who they are as people and as coaches.
This endless quest for excellence is fuelled by 3 inner questions that these coaches constantly ask themselves:
How can I improve my coaching skills today?
How can I create faster, better results for my clients?
How can I be a better human being than I was yesterday?