If future competence is a door, coaching is the key to unlock it.
Coaching develops an equality mindset — its conversations encourage me to have an equal power dynamic between myself and my coach/coachee. Different from mentoring or consulting dialogue, it gives me courage to have open-minded conversations with a coach/coachee. It also fosters a more relaxed environment that allows me to be present in the moment.
Another gift I received from coaching is the ability to actively listen to others. The coaching capabilities motivate me to continuously develop listening skills — I gradually start to listen to understand people’s feelings and thoughts behind their expressions. This helps me to understand the context and tailor my questions to support the coachee’s growth in a thoughtful way.
At the beginning of the coaching conversation, I usually have a ‘contracting’ step where I visualise and refine the end goal of each decision I’m trying to make. Even though the goals are sometimes high level, a coach’s questions help me to break it down into small pieces of work. These breakdowns not only help me to create a clear path toward achieving my goals, but also I have learned to celebrate small successes along the way. At the end of the coaching conversation, I usually check out with my takeaways, action plans and potential blockers to keep me motivated and focused on achieving my ‘contracted’ goals.
As mentioned earlier, coaching skills cultivate my ability to ask questions, which is a must-have skill. Through coaching practise, I have developed my ability to ask open-ended questions to help clients to think from different perspectives and generate their own insights. Thereby, personalising their solutions that are right for them. I am proud of it as I helped coachees to find the way back to themselves.
Coaching is a thought-provoking process that encourages me to have a deep reflection on my feelings. In particular, the ‘physical movement’ coaching technique has helped to challenge assumptions and beliefs I made in the past, inspiring me to consider new ideas or different perspectives. Through the reflection process, I have developed my empathy, enabling me to relate more to my counterparts and innovate win-win solutions. Continuous reflection grows my interpersonal skills to help me maintain better, long-lasting, trusting relationships with my friends, family, and colleagues.
Coaching helps me look for ways to improve in areas where I may have previously been resistant to change, through reflecting and asking myself difficult questions. By learning how to provide constructive feedback as a coach, I have learned to be more empathetic, supportive and encouraging, rather than simply criticising or pointing out flaws.
I feel that coaching is the key to success. In February 2023, I had the opportunity to work with other Coachsters ambassadors at the EY Foundation in Glasgow to help them build their confidence. Once again, I was inspired by how powerful coaching is in enabling people to share their feelings and be proud of who they are. By helping us be aware of and promote our milestones, coaching can be a guidepost that helps direct the growth journey. It is inspiring that coaching helps us to create our own story!
Article by Jeffrey Hongming, Founding Coachster
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