Coaching really is the buzz word in management today. But what is coaching and how can you benefit from its techniques to improve your life?
Coaching recognises that we have the answer to our problems deep inside us and it is via the asking of powerful and effective questions that we can begin to uncover and explore options that will lead us to solutions.
Any change starts with the awareness that we want to change. If we are unhappy about something, whether it be related to our job, health, financial situation or a relationship, we know that we want something that is not in our life at this moment. So how can we go about making the change?
The most common framework used in coaching and which all effective questions are based around is known as GROW – a mnenomic standing for Goals, Reality, Options and What/Will.
- Goals: If we are aware that we are in a situation that we don’t want, then the first thing we must do is turn it round and ask ourselves, what is it that we DO want. Asking ourselves what we really want is extremely powerful and indeed, it may take to get clear on what we want. Once we are clear though, we can now set a goal, something to aim for. The key question to ask here is simply: What do I want? And the more specific you can make the answer to this question, i.e. the goal, the better. An ideal end goal for example would be: I want to lose five kilos by Christmas
- Reality: It’s important to be realistic about where we are right now. Questions to ask yourself here are: How big is the gap between where I am now and where I want to be? What is stopping me or has stopped me from getting to an improved situation in the past? What resources do I have or could obtain to help me achieve my goal?
- Options: this is where we start to look at actions that will lead us to our goal. We can ask ourselves; What different alternatives do I have? What can I do? What would I do if I had more time, more money etc? Who can I talk to?
- Will: At this stage we decide the actions we will take to solve our problem. Of the options considered in the previous stage, which ones shall I choose? When am I going to begin with my preferred option/s? Who needs to know about my choice? On a scale of 1-10, how commited am I to these options? If we don’t have a commitment of at least 9, we need to go back and explore our needs, motivation and options by asking ourselves deeper questions.
When I find myself in a difficult situation, I always use this simple model and ask myself lots of questions until I feel relief and clarity on what I should do. This then gives me the feeling of being back in control of my life, taking away the stress and giving me the empowerment and energy that I need to move forward.