How professional coaching can advance human potential

Professional coaching offers much in terms of developing people to perform and live to their fullest potential. Coaching offers the opportunity for a ‘special’ conversation, in that it allows clients the opportunity to think, say, dream and create things that they have not yet done in their lives. It is a transformative rather than transactional conversation, that happens from the ‘inside out’. It aims to
help them achieve awareness, clarity and then choice as a basic foundation towards their potential. In such a busy and demanding world, we often get caught up operating from auto pilot, rather than with conscious awareness and clarity. If we are aware, we are expanding our minds and deepening meaning and learning around the things that are important to an individual. Clarity also allows a person to uncover the things that really matter to us, so that overall, we can make choices that align us to these goals and a more fulfilled life.

It is the focus of coaching that makes it different to other modalities of assisting human beings (such as psychological therapy, or consulting and training for example). The focus on reflective rather and critical thinking, and the positive psychology approach which underpins it, is what generates the transformational change that usually takes place in the coaching partnership. It enables people to
move forward in a way that is helpful to them, rather than keeping them stuck in the past and a negative mindset.

The coach partners with the client in a thought provoking and creative process, in order to heighten and deepen their awareness around a given issue that is impacting their lives, or preventing them from realising their dreams or goals. It is special in the sense that it brings the client’s attention to what is possible and positive for the future, unlike therapy, which searches for root cause and is less efficacious in terms of positive and transformational change. Coaching does not get caught up in the content of the story, but more so the essential elements, or in other words, the things that are really important and need to be drawn out or focussed upon. Coaches have professional training and expertise in these techniques that help the client focus and work on the real things that hold them back from achieving their identified goal(s).

Many argue that much more is achieved in coaching than therapy, and often in a much shorter time frame! Essentially, we can never change what has happened or impacted us in the past, we only have control over the present moment and the choices we make for our future. If we bring attention to those things, the possibilities can seem much more positive and empowering than persistent rumination on past events.

The coaching process seeks to make such an impact on the client that they engage in commitment to, and actioning, their full potential. It integrates what has happened in the past with the future possibilities for them, in a way that is empowering. Coaching is a process of self-discovery, it does not mandate the solutions for a client, but rather assumes that all people are resourceful and able to uncover the solutions that will facilitate them reaching their desired goals. It is because people are encouraged to reach within themselves for the answer that coaching is able to achieve results; people are made aware of their own potential and have their ‘blinkers ripped off’ in relation to what has been holding them back or stopping them from following their own process in a way that is helpful to them. The client is not dictated to or mandated to do things in a certain way, but rather, work in their own way towards their own goals and aspirations in a way that will be helpful and meaningful to them. Clients are able to make sense of their world, the way in which they relate to it in terms of their thought process and feelings about the environment they exist within. The coaching process helps them to examine what they are currently doing in light of their intentions.

People become inspired when they start to understand what it is they want and why it is important to them; coaching not only looks at what is important, but also how a person can get to the point of taking the action they need to. It designs accountability so clients are aware of what they need to do and in what timeframe in order to achieve what they have identified. This in itself is quite powerful, when people are accountable not only to themselves but another party such as the coach they are working with; when someone knows they have another appointment in the future where their progress may be discussed, or regular contact in other ways with their coach, it can be quite motivating for them. This of course, coupled with the positive encouragement received from their coach, enabling people to believe in themselves and what they are able to achieve with the clarity and awareness they should reach via professional coaching.

All of these things are very important when we consider the environment we live in today, the uncertainty and complexity that we each face in our day to day lives. Particularly with the advent of COVID-19, many people have been forced to re-examine their lives and their choices, and coaching could certainly assist many to re-evaluate and achieve their fullest potential.

In summary, it is clear that coaching is very beneficial to people because of the techniques and approaches used. The process is designed to give people the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential in the way that it most helpful and meaningful to them. Without the support and guidance of a modality such as coaching, it could certainly be argued that people are often not reaching their
full potential in a way that is possible!

by Rechelle Carroll

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