As 2023 winds down, and 2024 fast approaches, I am constantly being asked... what is Coaching?
As a certified Leadership and Career coach, I enjoy this question for several reasons: one, it's exciting to know that ppl are interested in learning about coaching and the powerful benefits that it can produce;
two, I'm always eager to share and engage in conversations around subjects that have brought extreme professional and personal value to me; and three, it's my jam and I love it!
So, let's get into it... what is coaching?
What coaching is:
From my perspective, coaching is a customized professional development solution. It is a journey of self-exploration, discovery and awareness, through a process of working with a well-trained (certified) professional, helping you to identify strengths, superpowers, challenges, blind spots, and skills to achieve desired goals and/or sustainable change.
Coaching is an investment in yourself and your professional development that can deliver value and benefits with a return on that investment over a lifetime. It can help increase your emotional intelligence, interpersonal and leadership skills, communication, confidence, self-awareness and even help with empathy, adaptability and problem solving. All while supporting and creating positive change, motivation and fulfillment, and helping you achieve your goals. It focuses on the present, the here and now, and near future... not the past.
Coaching is no longer a luxury, it's become a necessity for anyone looking to thrive in today's competitive and ever evolving landscape.
What coaching is NOT:
Coaching is not therapy. Coaching is not counseling, advising or mentoring.
12 ways Leadership coaching could bring value:
Serves as a thought partner.
Helps you to figure out your superpower(s).
Helps you develop interpersonal communication skills.
Serves as your cheerleader and motivator.
Challenges you to dream, be creative and think broader, bigger, and bolder.
Helps you strengthen critical thinking skills to make better decisions.
Supports you in the courage to look at different perspectives and consider many viewpoints.
Supports you in your growth and desire to change behaviors that don’t serve you.
Provides an environment for clarity & focus.
Provides honest feedback and/or accountability.
Creates a safe space to pause peacefully without the pressure of wearing any hats or capes.
(If you’re lucky) your coach truly understands or has taken a similar journey, so they can help you navigate.
BONUS... And simply put “two heads are better than one.”
Who is Leadership coaching for:
Executives, leaders, emerging leaders, business owners, high-performing professionals, ambitious individuals wanting to improve their performance, make changes or level up skillset.
20 possible coaching session topics:
Setting a clear objective, purpose and expected outcome
Giving and receiving feedback
Strategy & Strategic thinking/planning
Professional role play (interview, discussion, etc.)
Better Communication & Executive Presence
Visualization/Manifestation of goals
Discussion of challenges/struggles
Conflict resolution/Problem solving
Limiting beliefs/Imposter syndrome
Discussion around passion/purpose/gratitude
Career change or advancement
Nothing... just a safe space to breathe
How to vet a good Coach (how I vetted a great coach):
For me, I wanted to ensure this person (coach) aligned with my current needs, and was a good fit with personality, compatibility, experience, and credentials.
I needed to find someone that I vibed with and trusted. Also, importantly for me, they understood my professional challenges, therefore, had been in corporate America (recently) and also started, was starting a business or knew how to start a business… bonus if they could empathize or relate to my personal challenges of being a black woman.
Lastly, but definitely not least, they also needed to be knowledgeable and certified by an ICF accredited organization. What does this mean?
What type of formal training or certifications:
As these days, any and everyone is calling themselves a "coach." So, I wanted a coach that had completed rigorous requirements of the ICF (International Coaching Federation) training, including training hours that were demonstrated through extensive coaching. They used frameworks, methodologies, and models focused on helping leaders make measurable improvements in performance, achieve their goals, and produce results - It's a testament to the work and effort done and level of commitment to the craft of coaching.
EX: If I’m looking for an accountant, electrician, hairdresser, mechanic, personal trainer, etc., they all need to be licensed, as they are dealing with important valuable items (i.e. finances, home renovations, hair, mode of transportation, body, etc.). So why wouldn’t I continue with that sentiment even more so when they are dealing with me, my innermost thoughts, dreams, career goals, and my professional development?
Are you a good coaching candidate:
The onus of your success is on you. You have to be honest with yourself to ensure that you get the best results on this journey.
Ask yourself these (5) questions...
Am I available? meaning... committed to being helped or coached.
Where am I now? meaning... realistically assessing my current state.
Am I ready to take steps forward now? meaning... ideas for where I want to go.
Can I make the time? meaning... is it important enough to commit to the process.
Am I ok w/ being uncomfortable? meaning... open to change, growth, development and honest feedback.
If you have answered yes to most of these, you could be a good coaching candidate.
Goals for my coaching practice:
Create a safe, unbiased, inclusive, and equitable space
Champion diversity and inclusivity in the coaching profession
Cultivate an environment for all to be seen, heard and feel value and belonging
Foster open, honest and meaningful communication
Practice authentic and healthy relationship building
Increase and expand social awareness
Hold myself and my coaching practice to the highest standards of ethics
Continue to learn from and listen to my client's needs and goals to ensure I can deliver the highest results
Continue to implement & build upon my ME 6(A) Framework
Continue to help my clients discover blind spots, overcome objections and build strategic action plans toward change
The last few years organizations and their employees are experiencing total disconnect, with employers trying to understand "The Great Resignation" and other factors contributing to disengaged employees. There has to be a new and better way forged ahead to better support, motivate, develop and retain talent. The evidence of the benefits of coaching is inspiring and becoming increasingly more sought after - which creates a WIN for all.
Partnering with a coach could be a great resolution for organizations and/or individuals - just understand that you inevitably get out what you're willing to put in.
If you have questions... reach out. If you're looking for a coach, next steps would be to complete the "Let's Connect" form. And let me know what other topics you would like to see covered in future ME Blog posts.
Learn more about coaching, and so much more at Model Executive.
Until next time... Sending you peace and positive vibes!