Executive coaching. Life coaching. Business coaching. Career coaching. Wellness coaching. Spiritual coaching. There are as many types of coaching as you can imagine and its popularity is skyrocketing.
So what is coaching? The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach's responsibility is to:
Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
Encourage client self-discovery
Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential."
Credible coaches attend programs that enable certification through the International Coach Federation or other bodies. This rigorous process involves academic and experiential learning, complemented by hours of practice experience and supervision by senior coaches. A final written exam and actual demonstration of coaching completes the process. I pursued coaching certification at the Hudson Institute of Coaching in California (which I highly recommend, if you're pondering whether to become a coach yourself). http://hudsoninstitute.com/
"It's lonely at the top" is a popular saying that resonates with many executives. The pressures are constant and sometimes extreme. Many of the 'rules', such as political savvy, aren't spelled out (and fluctuate), but they're crucial to decipher in order to ensure sustained success. On top of all that, the very strengths that helped a rising star to receive multiple promotions can be the ones that derail a promising career. Why is that? A common reason is that an overplayed strength can become a flaw. In my case, a strong presence and extraverted way of being helped me to get noticed. I wasn't shy about contributing in meetings and what I said influenced others. Unfortunately, as a young executive with no leadership training, I didn't understand that the positional power was compounding my impact, and I was seen as intimidating and even dominating. Eek! It wasn't until I worked with an executive coach and a great CEO that I quit resisting and started learning how to throttle back these tendencies so that I could enhance my effectiveness.
The types of coaching conversations vary as much as the individual executive. I help clients zero in on their areas for growth and choose goals that will help them to take their performance to the next level.
Life coaching is sought for many reasons. My clients come from all walks of life and different ages. Together, we have explored topics such as purpose, life transitions, holistic wellness, self-awareness, stress management, resilience, authenticity and courage - among other things. I have expertise in adult learning from the Hudson Institute of Coaching as well as from an MA in Leadership & Training from Royal Roads University. I also have a Positive Psychology certificate from Pennsylvania State University. As a Certified Daring WayTM Facilitator, I use the marvellous teachings of Dr. Brené Brown to help clients progress toward the goals they identify.
If you want to bring better team relationships into existence, try group coaching or team dynamic work. This may involve discovery of team trust levels and psychological safety, learning how to engage in constructive conflict, facilitated dialogue to hammer out a tough issue or taking relationships on an already strong team to a whole new level.