Wonder what coaching is exactly, what the benefits could be for you ? Well, one of our experts, Gerdi Serrer, answers your questions. And it’s maybe not exactly what you think. – What does coaching mean to you ? – The main purpose of a coaching conversation is to stimulate self-discovery, reflection, sense-making, growth and is exclusively focused on the coachee. Your coach is your advocate. As coaches, we work with you to help you clarify and define your issues, and then create the space in which you can explore to reach your desired goals. We will hold you accountable and challenge you to grow and do more than you think you can. We may push, pull, and stretch you in ways that feel uncomfortable, but that ultimately provides you with insight and focus. We partner with you as you think through different issues and help you make decisions and navigate the course towards your chosen objectives. – What is good coaching ? – Coaching is a process that is unique because every coachee is unique. Each one will bring their own issues and challenges and each one’s path to self-discovery and success will be different. There must be a degree of ‘the right chemistry’ between the coach and the coachee. As coaches, we work by being sounding boards: listening, asking questions to help the coachee gain awareness and insight, reflecting and feeding back. All this using models and theories as needed, to help the coachee make sense of their situation and how they might like to change it. – Who is professional coaching for ? – Frankly, everyone can benefit from coaching. Today, almost all companies recognize the powerful benefits of coaching at all levels of their organizations. They see it more as a developmental process than a remedial one. Coaching gives people space to hear their own voice – to gain perspective and define objectives and action plans. To become aware of beliefs, and attitudes that may be holding them back in their jobs, whatever their position. As each team member experiences coaching, it reinforces the global coaching culture of the organization and the emergence of improved collaboration and performance. – Which goals can a coachee expect to achieve ? – The benefits of Professional coaching are endless. Let me give you a few examples of the sorts of goals our coachees look for and achieve by working together : Some people need to develop their potential for a job change or to increase their motivation, to manage their stress. Or for high potentials preparing for their future challenges. Some people need to develop their interpersonal skills to improve relationships with colleagues, team members, management, clients. How to use emotional intelligence. Some team managers want to increase team effectiveness, dealing with conflict and competition, building new teams. Some top executives want to be able to deal better with dimensions of strategy, business development, leadership posture, inclusion, organizational complexity. – How long does it take ? – It really depends on the coachee, the professional environment, the issues at stake. The primary goal of professional coaching is to partner with the client and to foster autonomy. This is why, for practical purposes, both coach and coachee need to be clear as to what they are committing to in terms of the number of sessions and timing. Normally we agree on between 10 – 20 hours with sessions of between 1 and 3 hours scheduled once per month depending on the urgency. But everything is flexible. For team coaching the sessions tend to be full days and about once per month. It is best not to allow too much time to elapse between sessions because we want to keep high momentum. Before these coaching sessions there’s always a ‘matching meeting’ where the coach and coachee or client meet and judge whether the fit is right. And then at the end of the agreed number of hours we review the situation to see whether the client wants or needs more sessions. Professional coaching is a high-leverage activity. Coachees can achieve remarkable progress in getting to where they want to be in less than an hour of coaching per month.