My professional journey began a little over two years ago, and it was not until the recent past, I was introduced to the domain of professional coaching services. An internal training session focusing on presentation skills organized by the organization – a renowned MNC in logistics that I am currently working for gave me an opportunity to meet with a qualified industrial, professional coach. His charm in encouraging me and my colleagues and positive spirit he created amongst us made me want to know more about his profession. It was he who guided me to understand more about professional coaching services, which inspired me to join with Coach Transformation Academy for coaching training.
From an academic background with obsolete relevance to psychological sciences and related matters, I got an opportunity to experience something very different and exciting. I was opened to an entirely new dimension of thinking and understanding. The few hours I spent at the training session played a crucial role at the beginning of self-discovery that I was continually searching for. Through the course, I learned how important it is to keep asking questions to find root causes and smart solutions.
The session began with a very simple yet tricky task of determining who I am? Like every other common man, whenever I was posed with such a question, I would naturally end up talking about my academic status or job profile. This was the first time when I stopped to think who I really am, and what kind of a person I am. This helped me understand myself a little more, I started paying attention to the little things that mattered to me – the things that make me- ME. Another interesting observation I made during the session was that every time someone shared something about themselves, I realized that I could relate to them the same way most of the time. These were probably things that I never gave much attention to. Hearing from others suddenly started giving me a lot more clarity on who I really am! It made me feel confident about myself and brought a new light of realization.
In another task that I enjoyed made me realize how every time I met someone, I was trying to fit in with their interests, even without fully knowing if it made sense. For example, I may not have been a big fan of cricket, but when someone mentioned that they enjoyed cricket a lot, I realized that I naturally had a tendency to admit that I, too, enjoyed the sport. Very much reflective of our daily lives, we humans, for the love of being accepted and included by society, generally tend to align our interests based on the people around us.
Another important behavior I realized was how my conversation with the first person started reflecting the conversation I had with the next person. The questions and thoughts discussed were grasped and carried forward to the next person. This made me realize the complexity of the human brain and how much impact another person can have on your own thoughts.
Further, dwelling more into the action of coaching. The training helped me understand the types of learning styles of different people and the changes in how they react with the kind of questions addressed to them.
The part of the training that focused on what is NOT coaching transformed my vision and understanding about coaching. Before attending the course, I was under the impression that any kind of information that a person receives that is positively useful to him will be a kind of coaching. I stand corrected now.
Coaching is the practice of partnering with a client in a thought-provoking and creative process to enhance the professional and personal potential to its maximum capability. The definition of coaching helped me understand what was not coaching. Coaching is precisely opposite to the concept of counseling; here, it is more important to ask questions to the coachee to make the coachee self-capable to deal with the situation. It does not involve giving advice or personal statements. We expect the coachee to understand and come with clarity on his own with progression in the conversation. Further looking deeply into what is not coaching, it can be stated that:
Training (often misinterpreted as coaching) is a concept when the trainer transfers his/her skill in a ‘what-driven’ process.
- Mentoring is the concept of skill enhancement that uses coaching to some extent.
- Consulting is when the consultant acts on behalf of the client to resolve problems faced by the client even by involving third parties.
- Therapy and Counseling are ‘why-driven’ concepts that focus on past experiences allowing the client to open up about the events and feel relieved. This is understood much better when we realize that learning is an experience that changes our behavior, and knowledge is what happens in learning when the behavior doesn’t change. Wisdom is the ability to make decisions on applications of learning.
I am confident that I can apply my learnings from this lesson to get into a thought-provoking process by asking leading and powerful questions when I partner with a client. The coach training helped me change my thought process, and I believe that I reflect on my thoughts in an entirely new dimension. I am sure that the session has prepared me and will help me to start the journey in coaching. I am very much excited to understand and deep dive into the world of coaching and be more competent and acquire knowledge in the same.