While in the past coaching was mainly associated with the field of athletics and business, it is a relatively new phenomenon in the field of mental health and the therapeutic process and one that is catching a lot of fire and popularity. As one noted psychologist I heard speak pointed out: “individuals coming to therapy to work on their relationships require coaching, guidance and teaching [as part of the therapeutic process].”
The coaching process is one powerful tool that empowers individuals to move forward and thrive in their life and relationships. One of the reasons for this is that clients in a coaching relationship are responsible for taking full responsibility for their lives and being accountable to themselves. Beyond gaining awareness, each coaching client must themselves take the steps to creating the changes that he or she desires. A good coach is one that guides the client without any hidden agenda. The coach only focuses on the client’s agenda and supports the client by being fully present, listening deeply, and without judgment. The coach asks targeted questions to help the client gain more awareness, new perspectives, and a clearer understanding of what is keeping the client stuck. The coach also empowers the client to acquire and tap into his or her strengths, and to figure out the best tools that will help the client to create and sustain the change that they seek. Ultimately, though, it is up to the client to take full responsibility and make those changes. And when the client does do this, the results are incredible.
As my own first client, I have experienced the power of coaching and working in a coaching relationship myself. As a licensed social worker and certified family coach, I believe in the value of hiring an experienced professional for guidance and support when one requires it. About ten years ago, before learning about coaching and the coaching process, I chose to see a therapist to help me understand and work through some of the challenges I was personally facing. At that time the therapy, provided by an experienced clinical social worker, was exactly what I required. My therapist supported me and listened to me, helped me to recognize what I was not seeing myself and to understand and accept feelings and emotions that I was experiencing. It was a true blessing and I am grateful for the help and support that I received from her. While it was helpful, though, I also knew that I was not fully healed – at least not in the way that I would have liked to be for myself. But I had done a lot of great work (my therapist told me so and I trusted her) and so I thought, okay ‘I guess I’m alright.’
I thought that was enough…until I began to learn about and experience the value and power of the coaching process. It was not until then (beginning my process of becoming a coach and experiencing being coached, that is) that I can honestly say (and this does sound a bit cheesy, but it is true) that I was finally fully healed.
The reason for that to me is very clear. It is because it was the first time that I was challenged to take full responsibility for my life and my actions; for every word that came out of my mouth, and for every thought that came into my mind. It was only when I fully embraced this approach that I was fully capable of letting go of any remaining pain and anger that I was feeling in my life.
The reason I was capable of growing as much as I have is also because I am a very coachable client. Clients who are coachable grow the most, and create the most sustainable change in their lives.
So, how do you know if YOU are coachable?
Click on the link below to find out. (The link will take you to the Client Coachability Index – a PDF document that you can print out.)
Client Coachability Index (provided by coachville.com and innovation-coaches.com):
Let me know what you find out! I’d love to hear from you.