Sometimes people confuse coaches with traditional consultants. Unconsciously, people ask coaches to give advice. The role of a coach is not to provide answers or solutions. It is to help you develop the potential that lies within yourself, so that you increase your capability to overcome all obstacles and achieve all of your goals.

Sometimes people expect coaches to serve as mentors. They want their coach to go before them and show them the way. However, the coach’s role is not to lead you. Rather it is to help you discover for yourself where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Once you chart your own course, your coach will accompany you on the journey and provide ongoing support, guidance, and encouragement.

Coaching relationships vary considerably. One of the advantages of individual coaching is that it can be tailored to the needs of the personality and the person being coached. Nevertheless, all effective coaching relationships have some common characteristics.

Effective coaching is focused. The coach will be focused on you and your goals. The spotlight will be on results not on extraneous issues. Coaching is not therapy. Your past will only be relevant when it affects your future goals. The coach will be committed to helping you get where you want to go, rather than helping you understand where you’ve been.

The purpose of coaching is not to create potential, as you possess all of the potential you need, but rather to reveal and release it. In the safety and confidentiality of the coaching environment, you will uncover your deepest desires, identify your strengths, and unmask constraints that prevent you from moving forward. Only then will you be better able to take the right actions necessary to achieve your goals.

The coaching relationship creates a safe space for you to mentally expand. Because safety and trust are established, creativity is unlocked, possibilities are discovered, and momentum is initiated. The coach will transparently offer you the benefits of their unique style, skills, life experiences, intuitive sense, and other strengths. Because the coaching sessions will be authentic, they will flow effortlessly and create great value.

Coaching will address and impact your whole life. You will achieve the greatest satisfaction when your personal life and your professional life are in balance and in harmony. The coaching relationship is about listening and responding, not advising or fixing. When you immerse yourself in the coaching experience, creative energy is released and transformation is the results. The pace may seem slow at first, but results come fast. And the results last because they are created on a strong foundation. Coaching will not simply help you solve challenges and accomplish goals, it will transform the way you solve and accomplish them. It will not simply improve your life—it will transform the way you live.

Success is the continual achievement of your own predetermined goals, stabilized by balance, and purified by belief. With a coach’s support, you will set goals in harmony with your values and beliefs and in alignment with your purpose. There is no quick and easy way to learn how to ride a bike. Similarly, coaching is not a quick fix—it’s a process. As you move ahead with your life, testing and measuring, trying and failing, and trying and succeeding, perhaps a coach should be in your corner offering encouragement and support as you discover on your own the solutions to any challenges that confront you.

Tammy A.S. Kohl is President of Resource Associates Corporation. For over 30 years, RAC has specialized in helping professional business coaches build stronger and more successful practices. Learn how at www.resourceassociatescorp.com or contact RAC directly at 800.799.6227.

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