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Coaching – a defined path to growth

By Carol Watson

The term coach is broad and covers a range of factors, the essence of which is personal development and the multi-faceted power of discussion.

Effective coaching is dependent on good rapport and a mutual understanding. As a coach, I will be wholly focused on the person that I am working with, asking carefully considered questions to provoke thought, and then providing the important space they need to respond to these. Rapport is key and a supportive relationship, the foundation for change, will allow clients to feel that the person in whom they are enlisting their trust is present and committed to them. Once they have that sense of commitment, they will be open to, and ready for, change.

My clients come to me for a range of purposes – from professional development, or performance improvement, to simply because they need support in managing the day-today challenges of their working, and personal lives. Employment is the norm for the majority of us, and there is much to be said for navigating the best path and the right conditions through which we can get the most out of our careers, and maximise the potential of the time and energy we invest into these. Whether you are personally looking to grow, or your company is investing in your professional development, the triggers for engaging a coach will vary – yet the benefits of this are universal.

Coaching is geared to the future. How we can overcome professional or personal obstacles, recalibrate or adjust our lives – our focus will be to look forward, rather than back at the past, as a therapist will. My background is a blend of corporate leadership experience and counselling – and I draw on this combined insight to give my clients a considered perspective as we speak.

While our motives, or our employers’ motives, for engaging a coach might differ, the benefits are widespread. For many, coaching affords a ‘safe space’ – an environment where it is possible to get an objective view of the world around you. If you come up against recurring obstacles, an unbiased and honest mirror can go miles in helping you to identify the role you play in these hurdles. Then you can work to overcome them.

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The possibilities for coaching are as extensive as you wish them to be – creating new pathways, connections, perspectives and ways of thinking. Long-standing traits can be replaced by stronger, more positive habits, as we work together to identify the behaviours that will help you progress in line with your objectives.

Coaching is about defined change. Yet it is also about empowerment. Coaches will help you see the right path you need to take to reach your destination of choice, yet the most effective coaches will empower you to take that journey – and, once you have achieved your goals, maintain them. As a coach, I partner with my clients to readjust their mind set to one of growth.

Growth is key in all that we do – personal and professional. It helps us improve, progress and expedites change. As a coach, the most fulfilling moment will be when that growth culminates in a revolutionary moment for clients. Their evolution to achieving their goals will be underscored by a defining moment through which these insights and perspectives provide the clarity they need to see things differently and fulfil their potential.

Whatever might lead you to enlist the support of a coach, it is important that you are prepared, and willing to embark on the journey that lies ahead. Coaching is a progressive and two-way process that requires the investment of both time and energy. But this commitment will be enlightening, and rewarded with clarity and change.