MY COACHING SHOPPING CART – Finding the right goods –Part I
© 2008 Hyacinth E. Gooden-Bailey, M.A.

Let us start off by making certain stakes very clear. Coaching is a conversation. It is a conversation between and among equals. The coachee is a fully capable and resourceful person, just waiting to bubble over with possibilities. This conversation emphasizes listening, understanding, intuiting, partnering and leading to positive results.

Below I offer you six possible results from entering into this conversation, whether about personal,life transition or other issues. Take your pick as to which outcome would be of most value to you at the present moment or for your immediate future. None of these outcomes are ends in themselves but are part of a process of continuous growth, development, enlightenment and achievement. Coaching proves to be highly appropriate and relevant, particularly when people are going through changes, or anticipating changes. Coaching allows confusion and ‘being stuck’ to be replaced by worthwhile goals and renewed energy, to take you gratefully and joyfully to where you want to go. Let’s begin the stroll.

1. Vision defined. (You are on a path but you really don’t know where you want to go)

Almost every corporation and association in the modern world has a stated vision. They seem to be naked without one. Individual visions are often forced silently into the background of people’s lives and we go on without them. Our lives run on until we begin to falter early or very late and wonder: what’s going on? Through open and confidential inquiry into feelings, motives and purpose, new visions appear and are embraced by the client, providing new reasons for living and achieving.

2. Increase in Balance (Is there overcrowding in your life, and is that throwing everything into chaos?)

In the modern-day workplace a few employing companies try to present an image of ‘caring’ for their human resources ( people), by providing health insurance, facilities for extra-curricula activities etc., even paternity leave for some, some go the extreme of making the workplace so good, people don’t need to go home, even day-care is there for the kids. To the extent that this is happening , there is the tangible demonstration that people need balance in their work-life, and that working all day as if nothing else is important in their lives is an unhealthy state of affairs. In coaching clients get help with creating balance for themselves, where it is not supported otherwise in their situations.

3. Organization and leveraging (You know you have skills and time, but your outcomes do not measure up to them. What are you doing wrong?

It goes without saying that when things are done in an orderly manner, you save time and energy. Sometimes people need first to begin to think in an orderly fashion in order to next act in an organized fashion. The first step might be just slowing down, scanning and taking an overview and then prioritizing before moving on, or moving from one thing to another. That’s what we are after, leveraging the resources we have – time, energy, abilities, space, freedom and strengths. I call my eZine – Potential plus Possibilities since I believe it is of primary importance that each person be encouraged to see beyond the obvious, break down barriers and reach beyond limits in order to give themselves a fully fighting chance in life. Coaching helps the client do that with ease rather than in fear or turmoil.

4. Team- and collaborative approach enhanced. (You would like to be in win-win situations, but you always end up in a negative confrontation. How can you turn that around?)

Much upset endured by us are related to how we work with others and how others work with us, unless we are stuck some place by ourselves all day. Leaders and not just team members need to know how to work and plan collaboratively in order to achieve their goals and objectives. Coaching helps managers to develop critical skills and awareness related to not just looking at the bottom-line but at the emotional, social, cultural and cross-cultural realities of their work environment. Coaching assists you in choosing your ‘network’ and raising your ‘influence’ regardless of what level you find yourself.

5. Timeliness in decision-making . (Are you forever doubting whether you should act?)

Sometimes we do things, but we do them too late, or we jump the gun. The ability to be right on time is crucial. If we are forever pondering, or procrastinating, the horse will never leave the gate and never be in the race. Coaching gives solid support to the individual sorting out which to step to take and when. This is very empowering for persons or groups that are accustomed to just going along with the status quo, or are fearful of change.

6. Productivity focus. (Do you get distracted easily and sabotage your own progress?)

In the end, it is amazing that we cannot blame others when we do not make it, even though we spend a lot of time saying ‘they’ and ‘them’. Through the coaching partnership individuals are held accountable for their own actions, since those actions are decided on by the individual and not by the coach. The coach as mirror, as flashlight holder, as instigator, as support, is not responsible for the insight you achieve, the vision you develop, the energy you generate and the choices you make. Make sure when things do not go the way you want them to, that you were not standing in your own way. It’s difficult but it happens often. A strong coach holds you to your commitments.

Is the real worth and value of coaching coming through to you yet?

Whether you are a coach or a coachee you should be getting excited about how enchanting this shopping spree can be. We have six more to go, and I am sure some of my colleagues will wonder, ‘so why did she leave out…?’, and come up with a dozen more. I will offer another six in a subsequent article.
The above can be used as handout for persons who are questioning what coaching may do for them, or to re-motivate yourself as to why you are in coaching.
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Author's Bio: 

Hyacinth E. Gooden-Bailey, holds an M.A. in Organizational Psychology, is a trained teacher of foreign languages and teacher trainer, a certified coach and member of the International Coach Federation. She enjoys leading weekly Tele-classes, and leading group workshops for mid-career professional women, pre-retirees and career-changers, as advertised on her website and in her monthly e-Zine: Potential plus Possibilities. She may be contacted at heb@sapiencecoaching.com or through www.sapiencecoaching.com.