Having been coached intensively for a while now, here are my thoughts on why it works.
You decide what to do - or not
Like many human beings, if you give me well meaning advice which starts with the words 'what you should do is...' then I'm likely to tune out.
I might even agree with you. But I'll still tune out.
With pure coaching, there is rarely a time when you're told what to do by your coach. Pretty much never. Occasionally I've been offered an exercise to do, or a book to read, but always with the caveat 'it's up to you what you do about it'.
You're asked lots of questions in coaching sessions to help you gain insight and to explore your situation with your ultimate goal in mind. Then you choose the actions that you commit to take.
It's a real skill for the coach not to lead you. Especially when they think they've got the perfect solution for you! You are the client and you're in charge. It's really empowering. But I'm sure my coaches have occasionally been restraining themselves from throwing something at the screen during our calls!
You are not being judged
Because coaches are trained not to express judgement (or throw things at the screen...) it's a really safe environment to be in.
You can say what you really think. A trained coach will only challenge you on it when needed, and then to ensure you have the best chance of success.
It's supportive and safe.
Even where a coach might personally do something completely differently, they will trust that your choices are the right ones for you; because you and the coach are different people with different experiences and circumstances.
You are being listened to
Coaches develop their listening skills to a high degree. It can feel a bit spooky at first because many of us don't know anyone who really pays attention to what we're saying, so we can pretty much say anything!
But coaches use their listening skills to uncover what we mean, and what might be getting in our way, and how we can overcome it for ourselves.
It feels pretty special to be really listened to. Empowering and valued.
You have a framework
Working on challenging goals can feel overwhelming. And chaotic at times.
Coaches use a variety of frameworks. And these structured conversations help you to find order amongst the chaos. And to focus on what needs doing. Not worrying about the 101 things that need to happen further down the line.
A takeaway from coaching is that if you find yourself stuck on a huge project; look at what the smallest action is that you can take. What can you do in the next 10 minutes to get you a tiny step closer to where you want to be? Then do that. The next action will now seem much easier.
Coaching sessions take place about every 2 to 4 weeks, for around 45-60 minutes.
After each session, you take away actions to work on that you've decided to take. These actions lead you a step closer to your ultimate goal; whatever that might be.
At the beginning of your next session, your coach will ask how you've got on with those actions. Now, your coach is there to support you and not to judge you. You are in charge.
In short, it's up to you whether you do your actions or not. But regular coaching sessions really help to give your motivation a shove in the right direction!
But there's something about being asked about your actions which leads me (and others who are being coached) to deliver. You're being held accountable.
And although your coach isn't going to judge you or tell you off for not taking action; a good coach will challenge you on what happened so you can learn from it and take action next time.
There are many reasons why coaching works. You do need to find a coach that works for you though - qualifications and experience are great but you need to get on with them!
If you'd like to try coaching with me, or have more coaching questions, please book a call or send me a message as I'd love to hear from you.