Updated: Oct 15
Coaching is a relationship, but it is also the growing collection of ideas and practices of a flourishing and evolving field
I am a huge advocate for coaching in all three senses I've come to understand this multi-purpose and evolving field: 1) coaching, a relationship and a process based on facilitated conversation techniques in service of a client's goals and agenda; 2) coaching as a growing collection of ideas and practices; and 3) coaching as a general mindset, approach, culture, habit that orients our thinking and behaving in certain ways based on the foundational principles of the practice.
I'll be exploring coaching themes and applications here a lot because I think we small enterprises and individual providers need all the help we can get. We need ongoing development and skill upgrades, and in an age of disruption and automation, we can't underplay the human advantages of communicating, relating, understanding.
This article is first in a multi-part series that adapts and excerpts my entire book, The Coach Within: 28 Big Ideas for Engaging the Power of Your Own Wisdom, Creativity, and Choices* (Everything Goes Media, 2017).
Welcome to a new perspective on coaching. Whether you are familiar with the field of coaching or brand new to it, I hope that this material helps you explore what coaching has to offer from a new angle. While we typically think of coaching as a relationship between two people, coaching is also a collection of ideas and practices. And, the elements of that growing toolkit can be probed, learned, and employed on one’s own, in relationship with oneself, with the people in your life, and with the world at large.
Coaching is a flourishing and continually evolving field and there’s a good reason for that. Not only is it a highly-effective, co-creative, validating, affirmative process for expanding one’s life and bringing about desired outcomes and new realities, but it is a concept whose time has come — a system of beliefs and approaches so in tune with what the world needs and where we’re all heading. Its techniques, underpinnings, and values can be used on ourselves and with others, on concerns small or mighty, and in all fields of endeavor.
If “life coaching” for you conjures up something a bit New Age-y, re-anchor your image of coaching with the kind of coach Olympians credit for their successes or the coaches hired by top executives to keep them performing at world-class levels. Coaching isn’t about repeating positive affirmations, adopting a blindingly optimistic view of life, or engaging in magical or wishful thinking. It’s more like applying life-hacks to the most personal aspects of your life: Hacking your habits, your brain, your inputs and outputs, your ways of thinking and behaving. Drawing on the powers you currently have and powers available to all human beings. Harnessing inner abilities and external tricks for the advantage of yourself and others, and refining them at new levels.
At its best, a coaching relationship taps into your deepest awareness, your most knowing and generative places. This material was written to help you have that relationship with yourself. It introduces 28 deceptively simple yet formidable ideas you can begin processing and implementing right away. What you do with the newly enhanced access to your wisdom, creativity, and choices is up to you.
This series of articles can serve as a primer and a workbook.
With primer, I mean to emphasize that it’s an introduction, an initial venture into all that coaching has to offer to get you started and prime you for more. Being a workbook means that reading what’s to come is not sufficient. Come ready to work. Do the exercises. Absorb the ideas and incorporate them into your life.
What are some thing you can expect from doing this work?
Discover 28 powerful concepts from the world of coaching.
Learn how each technique can be directly applied to your life.
Be able to pick and choose your favorites or employ the whole cache as desired.
Be able to practice on yourself as you go and expand what’s possible immediately.
Experience increased clarity, confidence, and satisfaction.
Accomplish more, faster, and start making changes more effortlessly.
Transform the way you relate to yourself and others.
Enrich your life from here going forward as these tools are now yours forever.
But it’s more than that.
You will have the structure and the tools to figure out how to deflate or eliminate your most confounding problems. You will have a solid way forward for reaching your biggest goals and bringing about one magnificent life.
I know the power of the big ideas that follow because I’ve seen their influence on the lives of many others. Even better, I experience their power again and again in my own life and know they can open up many good things for you as well.
 Discovering an inner coach and building a strong alliance with that aspect of yourself is its own thing, a way to uncover and nurture your inner resources and to explore the tools of the exciting and expanding discipline of coaching. I don’t mean to suggest this route as a replacement for an actual coach if that is the right choice for you. (And I happen to think it’s a fantastic option for almost anyone.)
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