There are many guidelines and models about how coaching should be undertaken. And any form of coaching should be conducted within a set of beliefs, and should utilise a range of skills. However, there are only two fundamental principles that a coach needs to adhere to. These are –
- The client has the solution and
- The coach runs the process.
Coaching is unsuitable for people who have diagnosable psychiatric conditions; or for someone who is a danger to themselves, others, or is indeed in danger themselves. Coaching is also unsuitable for a client who is already seeing another medical professional for their problem or situation. In circumstances where coaching is deemed to be appropriate, the client has the solution, not the coach. This may well beg the question as to why someone would seek coaching in the first place.
There will be many things in life that you have achieved very successfully yourself without every having to resort to coaching. You will have reached goals and over come challenges many, many times in your life. So why seek out a coach? Sometimes we are so close to our problem that it is difficult to observe ourselves objectively without someone else’s assistance. We can get lost in the forest, unable to see the proverbial wood for the proverbial trees.
In coaching you are working with the clients mind. In its simplest form people have two aspects of their mind, their conscious and their unconscious. The conscious mind is dealing with what you are aware of right now. Such as this article that you are reading, any extra thoughts that come and go as you read, your surroundings, your clothes, and the sense of your own breathing. Your unconscious mind is dealing with everything else. It stores and organises all of your memories, beliefs, and values. It maintains your instincts and habits. It runs your body for you. All of what you experience in your consciousness is filtered by your unconscious mind, through your memories, beliefs, and values, amongst other things. Your unconscious mind also runs your behaviour. You do have conscious volition over some of your behaviour, but it is your unconscious mind that does things for you. What all of this means is that it is essential for you to bring your conscious and unconscious minds into alignment with each other. If you want to achieve something consciously, you need to ensure that your unconscious mind is aligned with you doing so.
A coaching client is a client because they have already attempted to solve their problem, or to achieve their goal, using all of their conscious and unconscious resources. The coaches job is to assist the client to access more of the unconscious resources that they possess, which they have heretofore been unbale to utilise.
This is where the coaching processes kicks in. In order to assist the client to overcome their current challenge I want to the answer to five simple questions –
- What does the client think their problem is?
- How are they doing their problem?
- How will they know that they no longer have their problem?
- How did the client get to where they are in their life today?
- How is today working out for them?
By following processes that elicit the answers to these questions, and by carefully listening to what the client says it is possible to connect the client to the solution to their problem. Through this process all the client needs to do is to be honest with their coach, honest with themselves, and to follow reasonable instructions.