“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” — Ignacio Estrada
Have you ever heard from someone nowadays saying that they want to become a coach. I am sure you must have heard that. So one day I was asking myself why people want to become a coach and what is that one thing that really draws them to this profession which is often called a noble profession.
Being myself into coaching for the last 10 months and daily interacting with a lot of coaches brought up this question in my mind: why people want to become a coach. After doing and helping coaches in finding their niche from the last 2–3 months I got some clarity on this question like what makes them come to this profession. Often people think that they have a special message for the world and they want to share this message with the people to help them serve better. They always have emphasis on the word teaching and helping them to get over the problem. And to admit here, I was also one of them when I started my journey. I also want to teach people and help them to overcome their unproductive habits which are not contributing to their life.
But being meticulous I am, I have this habit of deep diving to understand more and getting to the roots. So while doing my research and listening to some of the thought leaders on this topic I realized how wrong I was and so are other people. Coaching is not what we all think — teaching, helping, serving and give others solutions of their problems.
Now, if you are someone who believes in any of the above things then don’t call yourself a coach. Don’t get me wrong but let me explain why I am saying that and how I changed my perspective of being a coach after doing my research on the topic of coaching.
As per International Coaching Federation — “Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching is a client-driven process that’s distinct from other service professions, such as counseling, mentoring, consulting and training.”
The above definition from ICF doesn’t include teaching, serving, helping and providing solutions to the client problems. So if you think you do any of the above things, then sorry you might not like this definition and blog too, but you are not a coach. You can pick any of the words mentioned in the last line of the above definition. This has certainly added a lot of perspective on how I look at coaching and from the last 3 months I have changed my perspective from being teaching to asking and listening to people/clients.
It’s a process where you as a coach get onto a journey with your client in order to bring the answers/solution from within them in a step by step process which they are not able to see/view at that point in time. You take them on a journey in which you are seeing the world from their eyes in order to understand where they are coming from and then you make them look at the world from your eyes so that they can see the problem not as a problem but just a pattern of false belief/mindset. So it’s not about teaching or mentoring people, it’s about listening and asking questions so that they introspect and think to find the answers. It’s a transformation journey for them where they have that ‘aha’ moment during the process. It may sound like I am giving a lecture on what coaching is all about but my whole purpose is to convey to you that coaching is not what you think. And if you are someone who has the passion for teaching, helping, serving then by now you should know who you are but not the coach.
Coaching is realising a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.