In these days of rapid changes in the business environment, individuals need to continuously upgrade their personal and work related skills. They also require skills to effectively face the changing environment. Therefore personal coaching is becoming a welcome trend in organizations. Coaching is for individuals who are seeking to enhance their performance and perhaps reaching excellence in a given area of their personal or professional life.
According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching can be defined as “an ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.”
Personal coaching focuses on an individual’s personal and professional goals and progress.It is future oriented and focuses on the resolution of problems and the achievement of results based on goals set by the individual. The assumption in coaching is that individuals are capable of generating their own solutions provided that they are given the required support, skills, knowledge. Coaches are persons with a set of skills they use to support people to achieve goals. The coach listens, provides observations and gives concepts and principles which can help in generating increased options and in identifying actions that could be taken by the individual. The emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability and follow through.
Some of the instances where coaching can be useful include:
- When there is a goal that the individual wants to achieve but does not possess certain skills, knowledge or resources required to reach it. These can be provided by the coach.
- An individual has a lot of potential but is unable to maximally use it because of lack of awareness, motivation or lack of certain skills
- An individual lacks people skills
- The individual requires support and motivation to achieve work or personal goals
- There is a lack of clarity about work related or personal issues
- There is an imbalance in work and home life
- The individual is unable to identify his or her core strengths and how best to leverage them
- There is a lack of self confidence and self worth
Coaching helps people focus on what matters most in their business and personal lives. It puts them in charge of their own lives.
The coaching process
Coaching begins with a personal interview- face-to-face or through a tele-conference. In this interview, the individual’s current opportunities and challenges, personal strengths and areas of growth are assessed. Further, the scope of the relationship and specific desired outcomes are delineated, priorities for action are established. Subsequent coaching sessions may be conducted in person or over the telephone. The coaching session normally lasts for an hour but can vary depending on the individual’s needs. Sessions are held at mutually convenient and agreed upon time periods. Sessions could be held once or twice a month. Between scheduled coaching sessions, the individual may be asked to complete specific actions that support the achievement of one’s personally prioritized goals. The coach may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles, assessments, or models, to support the individual’s thinking and actions.
The length of a coaching partnership could vary between 3 months to a year. Factors that could affect the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams like to work, the frequency of coaching meetings, and financial resources available to support coaching.