Hello, my friends,
In this article, I am going to answer a question that I get asked on a regular basis:
“What does a coach actually do for a client?”
It’s analogous to a doctor and a patient in this way…
If you would ask a doctor, “What do you do for a patient?” of course, the answer is, “It depends on the symptoms and condition of the patient.”
Very similarly, what a coach does depends entirely upon the circumstances, goals, objectives, and needs of the client.
There is no cookie-cutter recipe for what a coach does, aside from following the coaching process. The coaching process enables the client to resolve their own issues and challenges, and overcome their problems while being guided by the coach.
I use the term “pilot and copilot” regularly with clients, so they remember they’re the pilot of their metaphorical plane.
The coach and the coaching process are, collectively, the copilot.
It is not the other way around.
If the coach is telling the client what to do – giving direction to the client – the coach is acting as the pilot. That may be helpful in the short run, but I can tell you, this is absolutely not coaching. And it doesn’t help the client grow as a pilot of their future metaphorical planes.
Coaching is usually centered on one or more of these three areas.
For the executive coaching clients I work with, most of the time, it’s on the issue of decision making.
A challenge in this area, frankly, incapacitates most of what an executive is charged to do. He or she is faced with circumstances in their business, organization, or department, and they have the responsibility to make sound decisions.
A coach can facilitate an effective decision-making process.
Quite often, the need for coaching is centered on people – on building and sustaining teams and making them more effective. This is a significant responsibility of any leader.
This is about delegation and assigning responsibility. It is about selecting people for promotion…these types of people issues.
This is about the executive’s personal effectiveness, so they can be all they can be at home, at work, and in a wide variety of circumstances in life. It is so they can maintain so-called work-life balance.
How does a coach facilitate and serve as an accountability partner in the coaching process?
We’re confidential – 100% confidential – sounding boards.
Often by allowing the client to think aloud and ponder alternative solutions to the conditions that he or she is facing enables the client to make a better decision.
Another analogy would be, “What do you take for a headache?”
What`s great for a headache?
There are many solutions in the average medicine cabinet, medications designed for the very same outcome. That outcome is to help someone who is in some type of pain, distress, or discomfort.
That’s analogous to what the coaching process, guided by a knowledgeable coach, does for the client.
I encourage you to take a powerful step in the direction of your best life or your best year in business. To learn more about the Ascend on Demand coaching program, click here.
Ed DeCosta is one of the most engaging executive coaches and thought leaders of our time. He delivers results with companies of all sizes, from high tech start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Ed is an ICF certified professional coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in international management from the University of Texas, and an MBA from the University of Texas. Ed is also an adjunct faculty member in West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics, teaching Professional Selling and entrepreneurship courses.