I have been coaching teams and individuals for a long time now, and have had the opportunity to work with a range of fantastic clients.
Over this time I’ve witnessed people experience big shifts in the way they are approaching their life and work. Many realised that they had their priorities wrong. Others shifted their mindset. Improved their health. Took action on unrealised goals. Changed their approach. Sometimes all of the above.
Is it that I have all the answers? Access to a magic wand? Hardly. It’s really very little about what I know (or don’t know). Rather it is the ability to create the time and space for people to reflect, ask questions, challenge themselves and consider alternatives. I give people and teams the chance to stop long enough to ask whether they are approaching things in the best way.
Of course I can provide tools and guidance that help the process, but the insights come from the people being coached. I don’t tell them how to live their life, what they should be doing, or what’s most important to their team – I just help them figure it out for themselves.
Why is creating time and space so important?
Right now people are running through their lives faster than ever. We have endless obligations, are constantly available, and tempted never to switch off. But this leads to us charging full steam ahead without considering whether we are still running in the right direction. As a result we can end up feeling dissatisfied, frustrated or off course. Simply put we lack the time and space to do anything but keep going as we are.
Coaches help by encouraging people to stop. By asking directed questions that challenge current thinking, and by holding people accountable to the things that they commit to. In doing this they are able to spark a whole new trajectory in how people think, live and work.
So while I might only spend comparatively little time with an individual or team, by providing time and space I can in fact generate big shifts. I can help them reflect and reassess, to consider their priorities and whether they are working towards them. And in doing so generate positive change.
And that is why coaching works.