Coaching is difficult to explain to people unless you have experienced it. Selling the benefits of coaching is even more difficult because it doesn’t feel right blowing your own trumpet if you are a coach. So, why not get someone else to do that for you.
As a coach of executives, middle management and careers, I always ask for feedback. The following is a real life example of feedback which has been approved by the coachee (who naturally cannot be identified as coaching is confidential) and hopefully gives you a flavour of what coaching is and the benefits of using a coach.(my mentoring style is very similar too)
What did you want to get out of coaching?
Improved knowledge, widened experience and thought processes to allow me to consider different options.
Did you achieve this?
Yes – I feel more rounded as a leader, manager and individual.
What benefits have you gained from coaching?
Lessons learned are stronger and will therefore be retained longer.
How would you describe the process of coaching to someone who hasn’t experienced it?
Ability to discuss topics/issues with an individual who will listen and help you find the solutions for yourself – Coaching isn’t about telling
How would you describe me as your coach?
Good – met my version of a coach
As your coach, what did I do, specifically that helped you?
Listened and provide examples of past roles, helped me focus thoughts on the issues I was addressing and provided encouragement.
In your opinion, what would have made me a better coach for you?
Nothing to add here – I felt the sessions were well balanced and I came away from each one with some additional ideas and a positive frame of mind.
What 3 words would sum me up as your coach?
Attentive Encouraging Experienced (used real life examples to illustrate a point)
Anything else to add?
For me coaching was like a general discussion where thought processes were discussed out loud. Because it never felt like a formal training environment where things can be a little manufactured – it felt natural – but with a positive outcome both emotionally and in the knowledge I gained.