What is Coaching?
Ask five coaches what coaching is and you'll probably get six different
We all describe, experience and practice coaching from our own unique
life perspectives, and each of our descriptions and experiences are
equally valid. Further, coaching is a new field which is
constantly evolving. Here's one perspective I hold on coaching as
it relates to the process of human growth and achievement:
Due to the natural process of human development on this planet, we--usually
without our conscious knowledge--form habits. These habits are typically
comprised of somewhat rigid patterns of thought and behavior that serve to ensure our
survival and well-being on physical, emotional, intellectual, and/or spiritual
levels. In that sense, these patterns are good and healthy: In general,
our patterned behaviors create safety, save time, and free up our energy
and attention for other things.
For example, you don't have to relearn (or even think about) how to
brush your teeth, fasten your seat belt, or drive your car each time you
do those things. Other patterned behaviors, however, such as engaging
a fight with someone when angry, "forgetting" one's own needs or desires
in the face of another's, or eating, working, or turning on the TV when feeling
empty, lonely or uncomfortable, may not serve us as well as a conscious choice
(especially one infused with full creativity and imagination) made during those times. As you're probably aware, though, these habitual
ways of interacting with ourselves and the world are quite common and, thus,
Said another way, "There's nothing wrong with you," even though you might
sometimes feel that way...and may even have been made to believe so by other professionals or advertising.
Due to these unconscious habits and internalized patterns, however, there
are places where we can't look, can't see, and can't think clearly.
These are places where we, quite literally, "go unconscious." In effect,
we deceive and distort our perceptions of ourselves, others and
reality, without even knowing we're doing it. Again, this is natural
and normal. We all do it; it's just part of being human.
The danger: If we don't realize and honor this process, it runs our lives without our knowing it!
If we work at evolving ourselves, we become ever more aware of when
and where we tend to go unconscious, those places where we have comfortable
and familiar (yet rigid) habits of thought and behavior. We eventually
start to realize how, while once serving us well, our habitualized
patterns come to actually stand in the way of "the next level" of our personal
evolution, and of doing, being and having what we genuinely desire most from life. The
good news is that if we choose to work at it, we can transform these habitual
patterns, or "blind spots," and thereby restore our ability to think and act
clearly and with conscious choice and imagination in these areas where we were once "blind." Thus, we can gain ever more choice in who and what we and
our lives become, and how we impact our relationships, families, communities,
and societies, IF we're willing to commit to this path of becoming more consciously aware.
The "Co-Active Coaching" I offer is a consciously designed relationship in
which both the client and the coach (as peers) commit fully to the client's
path of becoming more consciously active and effective
the person, life and impact the client most desires. Usually, the
vision of these goals evolves as the client does. In fact, people
enter coaching with only vague ideas of their genuine desires in these
This is, of course, a perfect place to start: The coaching relationship
is the ideal container within which to experiment with and clarify your
desires for yourself, your life, and the impact that you and your life
on others and the world. Coaching is a powerful way to shine
light on the "blind spots" we all have, so as to regain the power of
fully conscious, creative and imaginative choice and action
in those areas. (This process often exposes surprisingly powerful
new options that we didn't even realize were available.) Taking
this step, however, demands courage, commitment and discipline.
Enlightenment consists not merely in the seeing
of luminous shapes and visions, but in making the darkness visible.
The latter procedure is more difficult, and therefore, unpopular.
-- Carl Jung
Since we've all had an individual and unique history, our "blind spots"
typically exist in different areas for each of us. So, where I may
be unable to think clearly and am deceiving myself (or acting inflexibly
out of a habit that I'm not consciously choosing), you may be able to think
and see quite clearly. You've probably had this experience, and may
have even been able to help the other person expose the self deception, help
them see the truth of their situation, powerful options that were hidden to them, and then make new, highly effective, and fully
conscious choices of thinking and action that are in alignment with the
In this way, we are all coaches for those we have the care,
and discipline to interact with at this level. Of the 200 or so
skills, I've heard it said that each of us naturally possess about 30,
by being human. Professional coaches, on the other hand, are
practiced, and critiqued in utilizing the full spectrum of coaching
skills. You may have experienced people who care deeply for you
having difficulty keeping their own agenda out of the picture in their
attempts to support you, having difficulty telling you the full truth
for fear of hurting you, etc. Professional coaches enjoy a
measure of emotional clarity when working with their clients due to the
nature of the relationship (we rarely coach close friends or loved
ones). Additionally, Co-Active coaches are trained rigorously in
holding the client's agenda and delivering the full truth in a way that
the client can actually hear it.
As a professional coach, I have made a high-priority, on-going commitment
to clean up my own "blind spots," so that I can see and think "the full truth" clearly in
the face of as many "blind spots" of others as possible. I consider
this part of my job, part of the "research and development" of my technology,
so to speak. I have a coach of my own (of course!) and am engaged in
continual personal growth work.
At the heart of my commitment to this work is a deep caring for other
people. For me, this includes a heartfelt desire to hold a space
of nonjudgment and compassion for you, and to see you create and become
your highest vision for your self and your life. The joy and
learning that I receive from being an empowering
partner, privileged to be along on another's unique and sacred life
journey, is the reason I gave
up a far more lucrative career in microprocessor design. The
I experience in assisting others to know and appreciate themselves more
(thus enabling them to create a life of peaceful abundance in which
what they had previously dared only imagine), is what keeps alive my own
commitment to continually evolving my coaching effectiveness.
As such, I have dedicated my professional life to becoming
an expert at assisting people, gently but firmly, to discover those
that we all tell ourselves for the deceptions they really are. I
strive to do this in a productive manner
that builds confidence, self esteem, clarity and wisdom...with the end
result of creating a more rich and satisfying life experience.
Lastly, as a professional coach, it is my job to become
a master at the specific coaching skills that enable others to see fresh
perspectives, make new decisions, take new actions, and move forward growthfully
and productively from these freshly exposed perspectives and choices.
I am a dedicated student of my clients, of as many coaching or human development models
that I can find, and of life itself. As such, I am actively committed
to becoming the best I can be at empowering others to grow and move forward in
their lives from an ever more conscious vantage point.
If this is something that calls to you, if there's a subtle voice inside that says, "Hey, check this out," please contact me for a free session so that you might experience this for yourself and to determine if I'm the coach for you.
If what you've read rings true, yet you still sense some resistance within yourself, you may have a "blind spot" in this area. Click here to check it out.
If you have questions or would like more details, please call or check out the Coaching FAQ.
Rich Raffals ~ Awaken The Magic Coaching
Committed to Your Success
| Conscious Web Design
| Up }