Most people nowadays have heard of coaching and are familiar with titles such as life coach, executive coach, and performance coach. In recent years there has been significant growth in the Coaching Industry, evolving it into an applied discipline with utility and diversity in a range of trending disciplines.
So, what really matters in coaching? Having experience in the field that the coachee is seeking support in is a good starting point, while possessing knowledge and competence in a particular life domain is an added advantage in helping the coach understand the environmental challenges that might emerge for the coachee. When coaching is based on this deep understanding and expertise, it not only brings the coach’s wisdom into play but also assists the coachee in navigating through difficulties specific to their situation.
However, according to Paula Shields MSc, GMBPsS, AssocMISCP, AP APM, “this advantage could also lead to a tendency for coaches to endorse repetition of their own successful experiences in attempts to secure successful outcomes for their coachees.”
Coaching is goal and process-oriented, not necessarily outcome-oriented. It is a collaborative interaction through which a coachee can learn to act with agency by exploring the ways in which barriers occur in their attempts to satisfying needs.
The coach’s ethical maturity is crucial for their ability to prioritise the evolving process of learning and change for the coachee. To hold this perspective means moving away from reliance on such comfortable knowledge bases and stepping into a dialogue that can put uncertainty of outcome in the frame just as much for the coach as the coachee.
As Paula explains, “this can be an uncomfortable position for certainty-oriented humans. I really began to understand and work with this when I undertook recognized coaching qualifications with specialised training and supervision of my practice. My competence as a coach evolved because of this professional framework. I am a now coach who intentionally nurtures the ability of my coachees to act with self-determination. This careful approach helps create opportunities for my coachees to fully satisfy their fundamental psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness in their lives.”
With an acclaimed background in behavioural healthcare and a deep passion for experiential learning, Paula Shields is a highly respected professional Coach, known for providing transformative opportunities to her coachees. Paula uniquely combines her insightful observations with evidence-based coaching models and techniques to deeply understand and effectively respond to her coachees needs. Whether it’s career, wellness, or relationships, Paula’s coaching addresses immediate issues but also supports goals for longer lasting effective changes.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.