By Rikke Lina Nissen – Founder & Coach, www.coachtheculture.org
Over the past decade coaching has slowly become a concept which is increasingly used in relation to people development. This recent growth in the application of coaching methods has not only started to show up within business environments but also more and more people use it for personal performance development.
What has spurred this development you might ask?
Personally I believe that one of the main reasons for this is the key coaching ethos of believing in the individual’s resourcefulness within themselves. The world is changing faster than ever and the need for individuality is growing. Many people, especially young people look at things quite differently to how others see the same thing so telling them how to do things and express themselves often does not bring about the best solutions.
Most problems have an abundant range of possible solutions so by raising the individual awareness of the situation and allowing them to explore possible options to resolve it secures a much better chance of a sustainable outcome. Obviously once options have been explored, filtered and prioritised a solid action plan with measurable tasks and a timeline must be completed. Planning without actions otherwise only become good intentions!
And this strong goal-and action orientation is the other reason for why coaching is such a powerful approach. Coaching always start with the end in mind i.e. what is the end goal and back this up with a firm action plan on how to achieve the goal. As the end goal might be a year or more ahead the coach will work with their client in breaking down that goal into shorter term journey goals that each supports steps towards moving closer to the end goal. This approach also helps to keep the motivation going by seeing gradual results and as we all know success breeds more success.
So why is this interesting for young people on the move?
Foremost because a coaching approach fits very well the younger generation of today. Mentoring still has an important function as younger people can learn from the more experienced mentors on how they did things and became successful within their field. However, due to the ever-changing environment what worked before might not work today. Also there are never two identical paths to reaching the same goal simply because each person is different. Coaching addresses this by focussing solely upon the person coached without giving them advice of what to do. The coach will ask structured and challenging questions which will have the coachee raise their own awareness and work out a way forward that fits in with how they operate. The coach will also look out for values and beliefs as both always impact and affect decisions plus how committed we are to them. Many of us have been asked to action other people’s decisions which might be against our core values and no prizes given here to guess how effective such situations are.
Another aspect of coaching which appeals to a lot of young people is the fact that they have the full attention of another person without any disturbance or any judgment. Having a safe environment to express themselves and be creative with ideas without being told “that is not possible” or “you cannot do that” is liberating. That is not to say that coaching is not challenging the reality of a person’s situation. But a coach will never ask “why this and why that” but rather ask questions like “what strengths do you have to support that goal” and similar questions that encourages the individual to objectively assess themselves in regards to where they are and what they still need to do to get to where they want to be.
If this article has raised your interest in coaching please feel free to contact me via my website: http://www.coachtheculture.org/. During December 2015 and January 2016 we run a special promotion for all students. The first to contact me via my website contact form gets 4 personal coaching sessions via Skype for free. The following 10 students to contact me via my website contact form can purchase 4 personal Skype coaching sessions for 100 EUR (equivalent to 50% off the normal price). All promotional coaching sessions have to be completed during the period Jan 2 – Mar 31, 2016.