A solution to any problem?
One shouldn’t ask rhetorical questions, should one. Quite obviously, in spite of being very popular these days, coaching is not a miracle cure. However, there are quite a few things coaching can do.
- Can assist in finding individual solutions. It is a highly personalised offering. No two coachings are identical.
- Always has a time limit. A goal is set and a timeline in which to reach it.
- Focuses on a person’s strengths, not on their weaknesses.
- Is directed at the future, not at the past.
- Sees the client as an agent for his or her own solutions, i.e. seeks to strengthen his or her autonomy.
The latter point, especially, hints towards the need for a client to be healthy and, if you like, fit for coaching. The process takes some energy and effort, both of which cannot be managed by a “patient”, i.e. someone who is suffering from “burnout” or similar inhibitions. I have to admit it has made me extremely uneasy to see the advent of so-called “burnout-coaches”. While I do agree that there is a lot one can do to combat burnout before it sets in, I strongly oppose the view that a coach can help people who suffer from this work-related kind of depression. This belongs in the hands of therapists. Mind you, to sort out job perspectives after therapy, a coach is a good partner.
Likewise, a coach can offer support whenever
- You are trying to see things more clearly.
- You want to come to terms with a different culture (company/nation).
- You want to make a good decision.
- You want to learn more about yourself.
- You want to broaden your skills, f.i. in presenting.
- You want to change jobs.
- You need to deal with conflicts.
- You want to reach new objectives.
Should you want to find out what it is like to be coached, do have a look here: Anna Tims from the Guardian has written a wonderful account of her first encounter with coaching.
The magic of what good coaching can do has been made visible in this video clip: Enjoy!