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"How do I describe the sort of coaching I offer?"

This blog is intended for coaches and trainee coaches looking to deepen their capability and confidence in coaching.




WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?


Firstly, as Integral Coaches, we learn the huge role language has in shaping human experience. Giving a name to something makes a distinction, bringing the thing we describe into the foreground of our awareness and giving shape to our experience of it.


The term 'languishing' went viral this year, arguably because it captured what many were experiencing but struggling to describe. Having a name for it helped us better relate to the experience, allowing us to explore and ultimately take better actions around it.


Secondly, to truly enrol clients ready, willing and able to take on developmental coaching, we need to be able to describe it clearly enough for them to understand what they will need to put in, what they can hope to get out of it and what our role as coaches will be.


This is important particularly for those with less experience of coaching. In the early days of coaching it sometimes felt as though coaches were seen as the Fairy Godmothers of the workplace, expected to parachute in with Wands to effect magical changes, which doubtless gave rise to the joke:


"How many coaches does it take to change a lightbulb?


Only one. But the lightbulb has to really want to change"


The better we can create clear expectations, the better we can partner with our client coachees and sponsoring organisations.


Thirdly, for the ICF and other coaching bodies, contracting well with a client is a core competency and part of being an ethical coach. Poor contracting may mislead a client into signing up for coaching towards outcomes they are unlikely to achieve. For example, leaders hoping to 'put a stop to office politics once and for all' through 6 - 8 conversations with a coach are bound to be disappointed.


Last but not least it is important for our development as coaches. Particularly when we are starting out, knowing how, when and what we are delivering on the promise of our coaching is important to determine what we need to stop, start or deepen in our coaching practice.


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