Why Coaching Works - International Coaching Federation

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Why Coaching Works

Posted by Racheal Govender | March 30, 2015 | Comments (7)

Whenever anyone asks me about my job, and what I actually do during a coaching session, I find myself stumbling over explaining the essence of what it is. Yes, there are very specific areas of coaching, but it is not merely the ‘what’ that makes it valuable. The real value of coaching lies in the process of uncovering and de-layering that leads to identifying the essence of the problem.

Sounding board: Almost every single person that I coach already ‘knows’ what he or she should be doing, so suggesting solutions is not useful. At the most basic level, a coach merely plays the role of a sounding board. Seems simple enough right? However when you really think of it, when was the last time you felt truly listened to? How often in this world of constant talking and no silence do we get a chance to sit with a problem, and to think it through fully? In this world of speaking and no listening, when do we have someone who is completely focused on listening to us, not just our words, but also listening at a deeper level to the meaning between the lines, listening to what is unspoken, and listening to the emotions in the midst of the silences? One of the biggest gifts that a coach can offer you is deep listening. In my conversations with my own coach, I am immensely touched by the sacredness of the space in which I am heard.

Curiosity: During the deep and focused listening, the curiosity arises of why? Why is it this way? What makes you think this? Where does it come from? These questions and many more gets the coachee to stop and look at the ‘obvious’ with a fresh perspective. This curiosity, free from judgement, helps us re-evaluate our thinking. Deep questions that arise from deep listening can lead to our ‘aha’ moments. It is these questions that can lead a coachee from “Yes, I know I should probably be doing that.” to “Oh, now I understand what has been preventing me from taking action!”

Challenge: At times we tend to sink into our comfort zones, it’s not called a comfort zone for nothing! It’s comfortable! We like it. Coaching helps us to get out of our comfort zones, by taking small steps. We want to stretch and flex our skills and muscles, without creating such huge leaps that we end up in the panic zone. If we are not challenged from time to time, we don’t grow.

Our ‘aha’ moments: My most favourite part of the coaching session is when a client says:  “Oh, I didn’t think of it that way before!” It is this shift in thinking that clears the blockages. The new insight gained creates new energy and momentum to move forward.

Accountability: Once we’ve arrived at a point where we know what the next step is, we need to ensure that life doesn’t get in the way, that we don’t lose focus on our goals. As an accountability partner, a coach will help you to break down your goals into achievable pieces and support you in your progress. Accountability partners increase your likelihood of success.

Support: Let’s face it: We all need more support. There’s a reason why most sporting activities have supporters. It helps you go that extra mile. We all need someone who will cheer us on and encourage us.

These are just a few of the valuable tools and skills that are used in a coaching session. In this world of increasing demands with decreasing connection and support, the benefits of a coaching relationship is becoming more valuable.

Racheal Govender

“Who’s to say you weren’t born for a time like this?” Racheal Govender supports leaders to achieve the extraordinary. She loves when clients reach that "aha" moment and their lives are transformed. Having extensive experience in both the corporate world, and private practice, she is trained as an organisational psychologist and executive coach. She has worked with leaders internationally from her beautiful country South Africa, to greater Africa, meeting some amazing leaders in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Namibia, and Kenya. She has also had the pleasure of coaching leaders in Europe from the UK, Russia, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Slovakia, as well as open spirit, and a love for peopl development. She believes that through engagubg iyt oassions and embracing our inner gifts we can create meaning and find out purpose, and through our journey of self-awareness and development we offer the world our very best authentic self. In her quiet time she enjoys writing and regularyly contributing to inspiring blogs, self development websites and magazines.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (7)

  1. […] de la realidad (interna o externa) que antes desconocía, es lo que hace unos días leyendo a Racheal Govender definía como momento AHA!, como el momento de descubrimiento y desjerarquización que conduce a la […]

  2. Thrivelight says:

    […] Here is a great description of what coaching can do. […]

  3. Our ‘aha’ moments, yessss, i really agree, when you think like you never did before, it’s great.
    thank you for your great article.

  4. Thomas Nexø says:

    Great breakdown. Coaching is simply, yet so difficult to master. It’s powerful stuff.
    Looking forward to master it some day.
    Regards from a new and inexperienced coach.

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  6. I agree with how you’re saying that having someone to talk to can make easier for a confused person to collect their thoughts and develop a curiosity as to why things are the way they are. After getting a fine arts degree in college, my daughter suddenly felt a bit lost on what to do next because of too much anxiety about not being good enough as an artist. I think I should help her cope by finding a career coach for her.

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