The Concept of Coaching
Coaching is the practice of helping clients to reach their goals by designing a supportive environment in which safety, (self-) reflection, goal-setting and accountability allow clients to move forward in their desired direction. As a rule, coaching is client- directed, that is to say; the client decides what the focus of the process will be, when to change direction and what the speed of moving forward at any one moment will be. The function of the coach is to help the client develop a vision, uncover the client’s strengths and values that will support the vision, and support clients in the change process on their road to goal attainment through ups and downs. The coach functions as a change-process expert, cheerleader, and accountability anchor.
“Coaching is the art of creating an environment, through conversation and a way of being, that facilitates the process by which a person can move toward desired goals in a fulfilling manner.”
Tim Gallway, The inner game of work, 2000, p. 177
The Process of Coaching
While every coaching session develops in a real-time, interactive and client-directed fashion, a number of characteristic features can be distinguished in how the coaching relationship develops.
Through a process of empathetic listening and invitations to the client to uncover what lies beyond present awareness, a framework for behavioral change and action is built. This framework rests on the foundations of personal values, strengths, motivational cues and characteristics that are unique to the client. To be successful in goal setting and goal attainment it is absolutely necessary to be able to reach beyond the first level of the culturally imposed and internalized value system that is part of our identity.
Too often both our goals, and the values that produce them, are not really or fully our own, and therefore do not support a motivational drive that allows for completion of the goal. Alternatively, we may have a goal that is supported by our personal value system, but is not aligned with the culturally sanctioned way of achieving it. As long as these discrepancies are at work below our radar screen we will have no way of addressing them, and keep wondering why our hard work and determination never seems to move us significantly closer to our goal.
In real estate the 3 most important words are: location, location, location.
In coaching the 3 most important words are: awareness, awareness, awareness.
Health & Wellness Coaching
The rather broad purpose of the specialty of health & wellness coaching is to help the client find sustainable ways to improve or maintain health and a sense of wellbeing. In the last few decades a consciousness has emerged that acknowledges that health is not just the absence of disease. To function and thrive we need more than just not being in pain, more than just barely having the energy to get out of bed and to work. We need a surplus of health, energy and wellbeing to put our mark on the world, to live our purpose, to be creatively productive or to just simply conquer and learn from the inevitable obstacles and set-backs that we will encounter.
A well-trained health & wellness coach with a clinical background can help find ways to manage existing disease and help design ways to maintain and improve health that fit within the individual’s set of values, circumstances and goals. The value of using a credentialed healthcare provider as your coach lies in the ability to evaluate your specific, individual and unique needs when it comes to managing your health.
At the heart of our coaching practice is the concept of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to rewire and learn in response to repeated stimuli and behaviors, particularly within the context of the effortful, focused and sustained practice of new behaviors and skills. Our commitment is to help our clients identify meaningful goals and supporting them in acquiring the skills and practicing the behaviors that cement new neural pathways to make the new way of being effortless and automatic.
It has been said that any specialty coaching eventually becomes life coaching. There is much truth in this given the fact that anything that happens in our life, one way or the other will impact other aspects of our life. In practice this means that in life coaching the broader patterns of our life are examined within the context of our goals and desires. No matter if we want to start a new business, land a spouse or improve the relationship with our friends or family, part of the process will be uncovering our unique pattern of values, strengths, needs, obstacles and motivations.