Quick quiz: What is coaching? Okay; too broad? Try this question: what is the purpose of coaching? The purpose of coaching is to bring awareness to the choices you make and the choices you have in order to get what you want in your business and your life. When you hire a performance coach it will be with a goal – more income, better communication, a bigger client base, life balance. Whatever that goal is, your coach will help you figure out how to get there. And the way she will do that is through questions and exercises designed to expand your awareness of your own behaviors, actions, thoughts and beliefs. Once you become aware of what you are doing that is not working to move you toward your goals, you can then make different choices, develop new behaviors and habits and learn how to move more easily and purposefully toward your goals.
The visual I like for this model of coaching is the iceberg.
As we know, the iceberg is about 10% above the waterline. The iceberg is a great metaphor for how we make decisions. The iceberg in its entirety represents your mind and the way you choose. We choose either above the waterline (consciously) or below the waterline (unconsciously). Above the waterline, I say to my boss, “I will be at work by 8:30 am.” Above the waterline, I set my alarm clock for 7 am so I can leave by 8 am and be on time. Below the waterline, after getting up at 7 am, I get into a very interesting conversation with my daughter or my husband, or I get hooked watching a story on CNN; I forget about the time; I do not leave at 8 am; and I am late for work. These are choices I make unconsciously. In this scenario, I don’t say “now I am going to talk to my daughter and choose to forget the time and be late for work.” Through coaching, you begin to look at these unconscious choices and learn about yourself, things like, “Oh, I get sucked into interesting things in the morning and I forget the time.” Once you know that, you have lowered the waterline a bit. Now you can say, “Knowing that, I need to put up a reminder to myself and set an alarm on my phone and ask my family to remind me that I am leaving at 8 am.
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