Think back to any college 101 course you’ve ever taken. I’ll bet it began with definitions. The reason: many words have more than one meaning. Often a word means something entirely different in everyday conversation than it does in a professional discipline.
Hang around professional dog breeders and you’ll hear them casually refer to their females animals with a word none of us would use in polite conversation. Scientist use the word theory when they talk about the most well established bodies of scientific fact, like gravitational theory. Yet we use the word to say, “I’ve got this theory…” or “Here’s an idea. It’s just a theory, but…”
The words coach and coaching have a number of meanings. There’s the big bus, the airline seating class, and isn’t it interesting that the original meaning—the one the handbag makers chose to represent their brand—describes a vehicle that takes you somewhere. The most familiar meaning, of course, refers to sports coaching. In fact, it’s the sports coaching model that inspires professional leadership coaches and leadership coaching. But professional leadership coaching is very different.
So for the record, here are seven coaching outcomes that describe what great leadership coaches do.
Coaching is an adult-learning strategy used to build the capacity of employees to:
• Clearly see their worth, their natural talents and untapped potential, so that they come to see it in themselves
• Reflect on their actions to determine the effectiveness of an action or practice
• Gain a deeper understanding and develop a plan to refine their actions in immediate and future situations
• Remove interference so they can perform at their natural best
• Gain the competence, confidence and responsibility to engage in self-correcting strategies
• Find their voice and contribute their highest genius and motivation to collaboration, decision making and innovation
• Promote continuous self-assessment and engage in continuous learning and growth
I hope this helps define just what I mean when I talk about coaches and coaching. For more, have a look at my CoachQuest Development Cycle.