I recently attended a course, about coaching, and learnt among other things the definition of coaching, as opposed to similar activities such as training, mentoring, and counselling. We are always learning, in every stage of our lives, whether through formal instruction, personal experiences, or otherwise. There was a surprising takeaway, for me, from the course.
It’s about the definition of coaching. It seems, in coaching, you don’t want to tell. You are supposed to get the person being coached to think about and come to the answer himself or herself. That’s something new, to me.
You don’t instruct, you don’t say. How interesting. I suddenly thought about coaching in the context of, say, swimming coaches or tennis coaches. Aren’t those coaches supposed to directly tell you what to do? They give instructions, they point out what is wrong, they say show what is right, and they make you do according to what they know to be correct. All those are what trainers are supposed to do, not coaches.
I suppose professional coaching, in the work setting, or coaching in personal development has quite a different meaning. For the first time I’m seeing coaching in quite a different light. Particularly, that coaching here is meant to be positive, although I suspect many a time we will see coaching in the workplace as having a negative connotation. After all, there must be a problem, that is why coaching was necessary. Of course, the positive way of looking at it is that there is an opportunity, and we want to seize it to improve.
How do you view coaching?