The Essence of Coaching and Why it Works
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
In the end, it's all about perspective.
As we go about our working life, we tend to do what's expected of us. Over time, we acquire a certain amount of competency and we tend to settle into a comfort zone. It's a very human trait. We gradually become more confident. We receive positive feedback. We carry on.
But there comes a time when we become stagnant, and feel it. Or we are tested in some way. Often it's a challenge like new competition in the industry, a new alternative to our specific role, a market shift, a new boss, or a pandemic. Our accumulated abilities and ways of doing things no longer feel good enough. Our field of endeavour has changed radically and suddenly we have to compete in a new way. This is when we can start to have some doubts. Perhaps for the first time, we notice our mental intereference: the presence of negative, judgmental thoughts.
Change is difficult, whether we initiate it ourselves or whether it is thrust upon us.
Most of us have these moments of doubt. We tend to coexist with our negative thoughts, but usually don't analyze them much. We push them away, but they come back. That mental interference is what stops us from focusing on the right things. And when we are trying to improve our performance, focusing on the right things becomes crucial.
This is where a confidential relationship with a trusted confidant becomes valuable. A coach walks with you in a non-judgmental way and listens to your mental interference. Then, together you review this interference and explore your situation from a different perspective. It's important to hear another person's point of view, because it is extremely difficult to get out of our head and see the missing pieces of the puzzle.
It's amazing how little things can make a big difference. In many cases, we discover that our focus on outcomes is getting in the way of our performance and our happiness. The very act of trying to hit a business or personal target can be the reason we don't succeed. For many of us, our mind tells us that if we don't achieve this goal something bad will happen, or, alternatively, that despite our best efforts, something good won't. We hear a little voice that tells us we're not good enough, or reminds us of that last time when we screwed up.
We end up getting in our own way.
The secret is to focus on the process, not the outcome. Master your process, your state of being and the results will come with the positive flow.
It's easier said than done. We can all benefit from a bit of coaching, from that outside perspective. Just ask my wife: she spots my self-negating thoughts almost before I find the words to express them.
A good coach helps you focus on the right things and supports your positive growth.