I've struggled for the longest time to explain what a coaching conversation can do.
I mean. Do you know? Do you really, really know?
There is a systemic problem. 'Coaches' practice 'Coaching' but we don't own the word itself. We never did. It was pinched from the world of sports coaching to epitomise the coach who encourages a protegee through an empowering process of setting an objective, taking the steps to get there, putting in the work and triumphing.
The thing is, nowadays, everyone else is a Coach and 'Coaches' have their nose put out of joint when someone, who claims to be a Coach ... hasn't had the rigor, ethical standards and training that 'Coaches' have. You see the problem we here here?
There are those Coaches who are trained and affiliated with a Coaching body and there is everyone else - yes, sports coaches, social media coaches, mindset coaches, business and entrepreneur coaches and linkedIn coaches ...
The biggest issue, apart from the distain from the 'real' Coaches, is that 'we' don't tell or train or teach - we ask questions borne out of curiosity and unconditional positive regard, drawing on the innate wisdom of the Coachee to come up with their own solutions - because this is where thier genuine ownership and commitment happens. Herein lies the conflict. The 'other' coaches are keen to impart their wisdom and take their clients through a learning process travelling through a formula from A to B. 'B' being a defined outcome. A predetermined result. And that can be very useful, maybe inspiring and just what a punter needs.
A 'Coaching Conversation' ... from a 'Coach' however, is determined by the Coachee, depending on what they want resolved and through exquisite listening, high levels of mutual regard, holding a position of curiosity and unknowing, reflecting, working with their particular learning styles and a tool box of options to unlock perspective; we enable accountability, enthusiasm for next steps, personal growth and deep connection to what's possible for them.
So both coaches and 'Coaches' have different tactics. No wonder expectations can be dashed when we assume that our clients understand the difference when the words are the same!
I've decided to ditch too much reliance on the confusing word coaching, and emphasise that HumanHuman are experts in the whole suite of professional conversations and connection. Coaching is one very crucial and central technique and sometimes we may pop out of coaching mode and do a bit of telling, mentoring, mediating, mirroring, acknowledging, empathising, sharing. Whatever the conversation the Coachee wants to have, when they want to have it and in the way they need it.