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Why coaching is the most powerful tool for change

Good coaches let members of their team learn through self-discovery. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH
Good coaches let members of their team learn through self-discovery. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

The very first time I experienced coaching was during my career transition from a secretary to an HR professional. One day I walked into my bosses’ office and said I wanted to have chat around my current job;

Emily: I’m bored with the routine and I’m looking for something more interesting — I want a more challenging role.

Boss: What’s challenging like? What would you like to do Emily?

Emily: Well I’ve been thinking about it since I have so much time in my hands, I started studying for an MBA in Human Resources and as I see there’s no HR department here, I see an opportunity there.

Boss: Excellent! Why don’t you list down some of the tasks you want to start with and we look at it together and we can add these to your current job.

I left the office feeling excited, the conversation was easier than I thought, the best part is I got to decide what my next job was going to be. The rest, as they say, is history, that is how I began my HR career.

Looking back and having become a certified coach, I now know that my boss was coaching me and seldom did he provide answers but rather allowed me to discover them for myself. He was one of the best leaders we had in the organisation because he could coach.

Coaching is the most powerful tool used to influence change and support growth for both individuals and organisations.

Coaching involves powerful questioning, active listening and challenging the individuals for growth and inspiring them to take ownership of their actions.

Most of the successful leaders appreciate the value of coaching as a strong leadership skill required for driving performance and leadership development.

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.

Coaching enables one to raise their level of self-awareness and take actions towards the desired goal hence influencing change.

Many think of coaching as the sports kind of coach. Another intervention that is easily confused with coaching is mentoring which occurs with an individual (mentor) who shares their experience and expertise with a less experienced person.

Coaching is one of the fastest growing professions and is quickly gaining traction in the Kenyan market where it is in its early stages of maturity as seen by a growing trend of trained coaches in the market and a few accredited training institutions.

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