Following on from my post last week about one aspect of coaching, I was asked this question. I can only answer from my own perspective and experience.
All the clients who have come to me want something to change. As I wrote last week, they can come with a ready formed goal or needing to find their direction. Either way, at the end of our work together the clients will, if the coaching has worked, have found solutions to their situation and can go away with the next steps in place. So coaching, at least with the GROW model I use, is about solutions.
However, within that process, I facilitate the session so that it is not "just" about getting to a solution as quickly as possible. As a coach, I ensure that the client has the time and space to talk through options, ideas, experiences, concerns, possibilities, etc. Sometimes, a client wants space to kick ideas around and then leave them to "breathe" for a while, perhaps until a future session, before locking them into a definite plan or action. My job is to create that space and then make sure to bring the thoughts back to the next session, to see how/if the client wants to work on them more, or leave them a little longer.
I was also asked if I provide the solutions and I repeat that my job is to facilitate the session. This is a major difference between a coach and a consultant. Some clients want help with, for example, becoming more adept at promoting themselves. If I was a consultant, I could come up with a checklist of "must dos" - social media tips, networking, public speaking, etc. However, many of us really know the things we "must" do. We also know which of those things will never get done because of all the little fears and concerns which stop us. My role as a coach is to work with clients to find out who/what they already know, what they feel comfortable doing, getting them through those fears and self limiting beliefs that stop us all from time to time, and helping create a big enough picture which motivates them. That way, the solutions are self discovered and most of us are much better at doing things we have chosen to do, rather than those we are told to do.
So although one of the endgames of coaching is finding solutions, along the way it is also a place to think, explore, discuss, break free, dream and discover.
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, check out how we could work together and get in touch.