We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.
Did it happen to you, at least once in your lifetime, that in a blessed moment to be suddenly stricken by a revelation that left you speechless? Who did not need a “reset” after any of those “coincidences” (not random, after all) that make us feel the need to approach existence in a metaphysical way? Or, who did not feel “two invisible arms” that guided us to a realm we had no idea about and that eventually proved salutary or maybe life-saving? And how many of us, following those experiences, returned meekly to our day-to-day habits at office or at home? A coach is a person genuinely interested in what we are, what we can do, or what we can become. Coaching makes us see these clearly and follow them with determination and perseverance. It is a huge benefit – especially nowadays, when the entire world seems to face new opportunities for getting better.
In Romanian language, the term „coaching” is impossible to translate, so it was taken as such. If we were to assign the term “coach” – from sports, the Explanatory Dictionary of the Romanian Language discourages us significantly (1. A qualified person to train athletes. 2. Equipment used to drive a car part or a car). On the other hand, even the dictionaries of the term originating country (the USA) fail to offer clarifying definitions. There is a simple explanation: coaching is a very young field (20 – 25 years old). With roots in disciplines such as sports, psychology, education, philosophy, several exact sciences (modern physics or neuro-sciences), and business areas (human resources consulting and development), coaching has emerged as a field by itself in the 90’s. And yet, what is coaching?
Basically it is a partnership, an authentic partnership between the coach and the client, emerged from an inner and partenerial dialogue. Within this picture of active presence, through a creative process of accompanying, the client gets to unfold his personal and/or professional potential. Coaching promotes the client as the most knowledgeable to manage his life with responsibility and creativity, having complete trust in his potential. When it comes to human being, we may separate two realms: the inner world, where we may have full control and responsibility (in normal conditions of integrity and health, of course) and the outside world, where we hold less influence. In this system, coaching is a special service that considers the whole life of the client, in terms of present and future that establishes the measurable objectives, that obtains results, and that manages change.
We can shed more light into what coaching means by clarifying the definition of what coaching is not and by highlighting the differences from related fields. Consequently, coaching is not:
- Therapy – the results obtained through coaching refer to present or future success of the personal and/or professional life of the client; therapy aims at eliminating suffering and inner conflicts of the client; it focuses on solving difficulties or traumas occurred in the past of the client that affect their present behavior, following psychological recovery; coaching stresses out responsibility, action and achieving results, even if, at the end of the day, it generates emotions and feelings.
- Consultancy/training – this is where programs with preset learning objectives are run by a consultant / trainer, who, in particular, can diagnose problems and prescribe solutions; coaching admits that every client is a priori able to bring up their own solutions, stimulated by a creative relationship.
- Mentoring – is generally associated with a series of guidance activities provided by an experienced person highly trained in a particular field; the mentor is directly and profoundly involved in the actions and processes undertaken by their protégé (the equivalent of the client); sometimes, mentoring and coaching overlap or have diffuse boundaries, especially in respect of internal coaching in organizations.
As said, the purpose of coaching is to co-create that special relationship that centers the client – client who find himself in a particular situation in life. It is obvious that there are not only benefits but also responsibilities for both parties, in this situation. Without an open and honest dialogue throughout the process, without the will to make changes, and without applying the results in real life, coaching remains, at most, an exercise in style. At the same time, without a privacy framework, an active presence, a well assumed tolerance and professionalism coaching relationship cannot blossom. The coaching relationship is in fact a genuine promoter of change for the client, at least since it fully addresses him.
Some people say that coaching is just a profession; others say it is a job, others say it is an art form – art of interrelating among people, and others say it is simply a way of living. I am sure that each of them have strong arguments. The most important thing for me, as a coach, is to practice it at the most responsible level. I am deeply grateful to it for all the changes it made for me and through me for the others.
I thank you, coaching!