Is Coaching Effective?
Having been a practising Coach now for 4+ years there is no doubt in my mind that all human beings after a certain age and stage in their lives require a Coach. Someone who can truly, without any prisms, showcase to us who we really are. What mettle we are made of. What is going well for us. What idiosyncrasies we have developed over time. How archaic we can sometimes be because of the belief systems we develop over time. How we affect the lives of people connected to us because of our behaviours and style of functioning. Unfortunately, many of us do not realize the need. Some who do realize do not act upon it and finally the chosen few who manage to realize and act wonder at the effectiveness of Coaching. Perhaps, this is because many times they do not experience immediate change and thus real value from the experience. The process, of course, remains somewhat fulfilling in creating awareness about ourselves and getting to know how we are perceived by others and certain areas that require change. But, alas! The real change remains elusive.
Well, I have come to believe that a person changes ONLY and ONLY when they really want to change. A Coach can help, support, motivate, provide techniques, cheer along the way but beyond that it’s the individual that has to find a true desire to transform and work at it. With resilience and patience, come to all great things. It is no different from joining nutritionists and weight loss specialists for losing weight and/or remaining healthy. Until one brings about a permanent lifestyle change and follows the new regime forever – it just ain’t happening – there ain’t going to be weight loss no matter how much support is provided by the specialists. You’ve got to do it yourself and stay the course.
So, what do Coaches really do in such a case?
I have found it useful to state the above fact upfront before taking up a coaching engagement. Also, reinforcing that true value from a Coaching engagement will only be realized if the Coachee is willing to devote serious ‘time’ and ‘effort’ to the process, irrespective of the demands of day to day life and work challenges. Real change requires real effort. The process of change is slow and recognized by others at an even slower pace. Also, change is hard work. Doing takes much more effort than just understanding what needs to be done. Changing habits takes dedicated perseverance. We all know that eating right and exercising results in being fit and losing weight. Making a change and practicing it consistently each day and each successive day requires serious time, effort, dedication, patience and perseverance.
As it is said high rewards require hard work. And rewards are plenty if true change happens and is sustained.