Not so long ago on the blog the SLI discussed the importance of self-reflection as a leader. When you are just getting going with this practice it can be hard knowing where to start, which is why experiencing coaching is a great way to flex your reflection muscles and unlock your inner self leader.
Actually, many discussions about what coaching is start by outlining what coaching is not. The word coaching is quite broad and can be used in a variety of contexts which blur understanding very easily (sports coaching, voice coach, career coaching, coaching and mentoring). However, many of those examples bleed into other forms of interaction which are technically different to coaching:
All of these ways of working can have real benefits to individuals on their leadership journey but it is important to be able to define them so that you know which ones you need and are implementing.
There are a few different definitions of coaching
“Raising awareness and responsibility to unlock potential and maximize performance.” – Sir John Whitmore, author of Coaching for Performance
“Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” – International Coaching Federation
“Coaching is a facilitated, dialogic and reflective learning process that aims to grow the individuals (or teams) awareness, responsibility and choice (thinking and behavioural).” – Association for Coaching
Broadly speaking coaching is a reflective conversation with a thinking partner. It is a collaborative process where the coach uses their expertise in questioning and listening to help the coachee explore a situation, work towards an outcome or change their behaviour. The coach does not direct, but instead empowers the other to generate their own action plan moving forward and maintain full responsibility for any changes which they decide to implement.
Quite often someone seeking coaching has an outcome in mind – a goal they wish to achieve, a challenge to overcome or a situation they want to explore in order to move forward. The coach structures the coachee’s thinking by asking catalytic questions and then providing a safe thinking space… in other words the coach is the conduit for self-reflection.
Coaching helps people to:
… sounds like a leader, doesn’t it?
One of the core beliefs of coaching is that you already have all of the resources and answers you need within you. Coaching just helps to bring them to the forefront of your awareness so that you can act upon them.
You still hold the keys to all of your goals and choices – coaching just helps you to use them better.
This means that the process of coaching can dovetail perfectly with your leadership because you become more self-assured, able to implement SMART action plans and are more in line with your inner thinking, leading to authentic and effective leadership.
If you are ready to use coaching to springboard your leadership journey then not book a coaching consultation with The Self Leadership Initiative.