When you think about “Coaching” I am sure you would be drawn to images of the tennis coach, the rugby coach or even the athletics coach. Their roles are simple – they are there to help individuals and teams reach higher levels of performance, to achieve specific goals or targets, to win matches and competitions. But they are not the only coaches that are around in todays hustle and bustle.
When you think of how satisfied you are with your life, and when you break it down into specific areas of your life, let’s say things like health and relationships, or even career and money : ARE YOU TRULY SATISFIED?
I would bet a guess that you might be satisfied in some areas, and that in others you dread to even consider them as they fall into the realm of disappointments, of underachieving, or of total lack of satisfaction.
The coaching that I love is personal transformation. Such a cliche word but a word and a direction that can give you such tremendous results. Take for example the concept of relationships. If I told you that the whole media world has it wrong, that all the Hollywood movies and other films make it out that you fall in love and live happily ever after, when the truth is a very far away and distant reality – would you believe me? If you had gone through a long term relationship, maybe gotten married and ended up splitting or getting divorced I am sure you would agree that the truth can sometimes be brutal, devastating and very harsh indeed.
The real deal is that in todays society we have moved away from talking to sending messages via an electronic device, and we have lost the art of communicating and listening. We have lost the personal touch. We have run further and further away from really getting to know someone, and into a world of make believe where anything is possible and nothing lasts forever.
But all is not lost. You can get back to that personal touch, but it does take time, effort and follow through. Sure you can put down your device for a few seconds, a few minutes maybe a few hours, but in truth can you recognise when you are creating a bad situation and opening up potential pitfalls for the future when you don’t give your partner the personal time and attention they need?
Personal transformation in my view does not mean that you become a totally new person overnight. That would not only be impossible but would create a dangerous situation where you could slip back into the old persona as soon as the first sign of rejection of the new you becomes visible. “I have quit smoking and I am a new person” you say and the you are told that you still smell of smoke, and that your teeth and finger nails still show the yellow sign of nicotine!
Personal transformation is a process of finding out the things that are wrong, according to you. Then identifying which things need immediate change, and which are things that will be worked on at a later time. Once you have an action plan you then put it into motion, and day after day the changes start to bring rewards. The idea of a quick fix is what everybody is looking for, except those that know certain things can be quick and other things take time to change!
Coaching is an art form. It is a skill that is taught, practiced and learnt. And then it is applied. It is not telling someone what is wrong with them. It is helping someone identify the things that need to be worked on and then helping them with a plan of action to make the changes necessary to become better.
I remember when I first took up martial arts as a young kid. I had read plenty of books on the subject, bought a few, and looked through some of the pictures and images. I attempted some of the techniques, but I just could not get some of them right.
It was only when I took up the training with a Sensei who knew how to train others, that I really started to learn how to use the techniques correctly, the position of the feet, the body, the breathing, and when to move out of the way of an incoming strike or kick.
Without someone looking on from the outside, watching my moves and correcting some of the mistakes I made, I would never have improved. And so – the result was when grading time came, that I got a very good grading to the next level.
And this is what I love about coaching. I get to work with some of the most interesting people, I get to help them figure out what the targets are that they want to achieve, and then I work with them over a period of time, and the progress is fantastic!
I will always remember one of the first results I ever achieved with coaching someone else. You might call it training, but to me, it signified the essence of coaching. I coached my mom how to use a computer. And it was the little things that really counted. Patience, showing her how things worked. Giving her advice on the mouse, and how the file system worked. With only a few coaching sessions, she soon got the hang of things and could steam ahead on her own – using the computer to great advantage for her bookkeeping work that she did.
Years later, I would give her an iPad as a gift – and the skills I helped her with many years ago soon had her using this easier, newer device, with the skill of a master.
What motivates you to move forward, and do greater and better things? For me it is simple. I have a passion to see others excel at the things I know they can excel! The satisfaction is taking them through tough times and issues and getting them to a better place in life!