A life coach is someone who works with you to help you with some aspect of your business and/or personal life and to help you improve your performance. Coaches are individuals who aid you by observing your behavior, asking the right questions, giving feedback, and guiding you in developing your skills.
The International Association of Coaching describes coaching as ‘a transformative process for personal and professional awareness, discovery and growth.’
The Coaching Evolution
A review of the history of coaching shows that reference to it in the literature goes back to the 1930’s. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that business coaching emerged as a distinct discipline and as an important tool used by major corporations to develop their senior managers.
In the twenty-first century coaching has come into its own. Corporate heads have begun to openly acknowledge the stresses and strain inherent in corporate life, how these stressors negatively impact their people and thereby their job performance and ultimately the success of the company. Companies now show a greater willingness to hire coaches to assist their senior managers in all aspects of their careers, the demands of the job as well as the stressors that affect them outside of the workplace.
This new willingness to use the services of coaches has expanded from the major corporations to mid-sized and smaller companies. What that means for the coaching industry is that competent and specialized coaching are now being sought by companies large and small including entrepreneurs, professionals, leaders and aspiring leaders as well as individuals looking to grow their business, improve job performance or enhance professional, personal, family and even spiritual goals.
Even though coaching was largely pioneered by major corporations, individuals have begun to see the importance of seeking the assistance of a coach in the business arena, particularly where their employer may not yet provide that opportunity. Individuals, for example, may hire a business or leadership coach for a number of different reasons. Their career might be stuck at a plateau and they are eager to take it to the next level. Their inability to communicate effectively with their superiors or subordinates may be taking a toll on their ability to achieve promotion or a leadership position; or their superiors may not see or acknowledge their true leadership potential and the individual needs guidance on how to break through these invisible barriers. Hiring the right coach enables them to develop skills they currently lack, allows them the opportunity to review their problems and stumbling block through a fresh pair of professional eyes and provides them with an impartial third party with the necessary skills to pose the right questions and to help them see what the next series of steps should be.
Some individuals just need someone to hold them accountable, provide them with a timetable or to give them frequent motivation. They might be having trouble focusing on what they need to do from day to day to make their lives better.
Have you ever used the services of a coach and what were the results? Leave your comment in the box below.