In this part of the world, coaching is not the usual go-to performance development solution like training and has often been mistaken to mean many other things than what it really is. Often times, Coaching is confused with Mentoring, Counseling, Therapy, Consulting or Advising. The limited awareness of what coaching really is has led to misconceptions about it and created a stigma that has discouraged people from seeking coaching or fully embracing their coaching experience. One such misconception is that coaching is only for people who have performance issues and need to be constantly monitored or “supervised”.
I can certainly relate with such misconceptions because until a few months ago I was in the same boat. Then, I joined the H.C. Bonum Coaching Team and sat in on one of our introductory sessions with a new client and it dawned on me that I never really knew what coaching was.
What then is Coaching?
Coaching is a method of facilitating another person’s learning, development, and performance in a non-directive way. It can be formal or informal. You might have been coached informally by a colleague or a supervisor and might have even coached someone but just never referred to it as coaching. Coaching is not “Telling” the other party the answer to a challenge. It is “Asking” questions to create awareness and spur alternative action in a way that enhances performance outcomes. So when someone says to you “So, how do you think you should go about so and so?” or “What other approaches might you consider to achieve so and so”, they may just be giving you a taste of coaching.
The difference between formal and informal coaching is that in formal coaching a certified coach is trained to identify boundaries when coaching. For example, your supervisor is likely to switch from “coaching” to “advising” unconsciously, but a trained coach consciously stays within the confines of coaching.
There are different types of formal coaching, such as Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Career Coaching, Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Wellness Coaching and Sales Coaching.
Who Needs Coaching?
Coaching is not a quick fix neither is it a one size fits all solution; it is a unique solution tailored to meet the needs of business professionals at the different stages of their career. Coaching is not for a select few; it is not only for senior executives or people who have performance issues but for anyone who needs support in accessing alternative thinking and approaches to improve performance, such as:
A person moving from operational to strategic management.
An individual who is being strongly considered to take on a new role, especially a leadership or executive role.
Someone who has to manage a change process or adapt to change.
A person who has high potential and needs to maximize their contribution to the business.
Someone who needs to address performance gaps and develop plans for further professional development.
What do you stand to benefit from Coaching?
If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that coaching sounds great but still in doubt about how beneficial it is, I would like to share some of the benefits with you.
Coaching unlocks the potential in you by stimulating new ways of thinking. Through coaching, a client caught in the crosshairs between executive stakeholders discovered he could apply an alternative stakeholder management approach which led to a more collaborative relationship with his executive stakeholders and ultimately better business outcomes. He was later promoted to take on greater responsibilities.
Coaching reduces your blind spots (that part of you that others see but you don’t) by making you more aware. A coaching client discovered he could apply a more balanced approach to life and work by developing and empowering his team through delegation. He experienced improvements in his health, his relationship with his wife and children, and the performance of his team. He was later promoted to a new role and was succeeded by one of the team members he developed.
Coaching encourages a growth mindset by encouraging multiple alternative solutions. Another coaching client that was starting to feel bored with her role worked with her H.C. Bonum coach to explore different alternatives for her next career move. She discovered she was still passionate about her discipline and went on to take a new role that expanded her scope of responsibility from local to regional.
These are just a few of the success stories from our coaching clients and there are lots more. One of my favourite parts of being a member of the Coaching Team is when clients start their Introduction to Coaching Session clueless about what is in it for them and at the end cannot wait to have their first coaching session. It is magical. Another is seeing who they become at the end of the H.C. Bonum Coaching Program and what they are able to achieve with the support of their coach.
Greatness lies in everyone, sometimes we just need someone to push us out of our comfort zone; someone like a coach! Are you curious about or interested in being coached? Call +2348092294158 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and learn more about the H.C. Bonum Coaching Program.
- Tiwalade Fasoranti