Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Socrates believed, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’. Centuries ahead of his time, the great Greek philosopher sowed the seeds for ‘Coaching’ as we know it in its modern avatar. He understood the profundity of and laid emphasis on the need for dialogues in every aspect of life.
For starters, coaching is a systematic plan that helps you reach your set goals. Through constructive dialogue, the coach enables an individual to introspect and gain clarity of what they want to achieve. The coach then goes on to partner with the person as he steers his way towards that goal.
Simply put, a coach is a person who walks with you on your path to self-discovery. While we often find a coach on a sports field, the term has now gained momentous relevance in many realms. Whether it is discovering the best version of you on a sports field, in the corporate world or in every day life.
A metaphorical representation of coaching can be drawn from the Mahabharata where besides being a mentor, a guru, a counsellor and a confidante, Krishna stood as the very epiphany of a coach steering Arjuna’s chariot towards victory. The essence lies in the fact that he drove the chariot as per Arjuna’s wishes, nudging him and enabling him to introspect whenever needed. The journey, the goal and the destiny was Arjuna’s and Krishna was ‘the charioteer’ — the coach.
A coach is an enabler — a powerful one — who facilitates you to reach your point of eminence. Having a coach along the journey not only gives you a positive affirmation and an accountability partner but also the strength to convert obstacles into stepping stones towards success.
Evidences suggest that working with a coach has made acceptance to change easier, especially in the wake of adversities. Serious uninvited, unavoidable change can stare you in the face anytime, anywhere. The wake-up call can come in any form- a professional challenge, a serious health diagnosis, financial crisis, taking the wrong turn in relationships or the realization that you’ve had enough of the stress and toxicity around you.
Timothy Gallwey, one of the earliest pioneers of coaching, was also pivotal to the creation of the GROW model. Gallwey his book- The Inner Game of Tennis (1974) wrote that in the game of tennis, your real opponent is not across the net but in fact within you. This voice works to bring down your morale by judging you, criticizing you and hampering your logical abilities. This is where just about anyone needs a coach. Just like a cricket or a football coach works on a player’s strengths, having a transformational life coach:
Gives you the non-judgmental space to observe yourself
Enables you to reflect and objectively assess options and alternatives
Empowers you to envision yourself where you want to be
Opens up avenues to new learnings
Provides you the strength to realize your dream.
Coaching hinges around the idea that problems don’t need coaching, whereas a person does. This is because drilling into a problem and sourcing out a solution may serve you for a day, but when it comes to the bigger balance and purpose of life, it takes nuclear transformations to bring about pathbreaking change.