How do you react when someone introduces themselves to you as a transformational coach? If your answer is "your BUTT is a transformational coach," then I must compliment you on your candour as well as your connection to planet earth as we all know it. I personally stumbled into coaching accidentally, so I can totally relate.
So what the heck? Is coaching for real? Well, yes, it turns out, but it's hard to explain how and why. Allow me a few folksy metaphors.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Nobody likes unsolicited advice. If you are having a panic attack, you do not need a helper to ask "have you tried deep breathing?" There also turns out to be a thing called the mammilian diving reflex whereby a person who is very anxious will feel better if she submerges her face in ice water for 30 seconds. This has been proved by Science! Yet very few people like to be told to dunk their head in ice water at moments of great stress. (My friends who like this suggestion like it primarily because they know I love them, they know it will work, and we agree that it is a hilariously inappropriate suggestion, so the humour itself makes the moment better).
As an adult, only you fully know yourself, your situation, your beliefs, values, and goals. Only you know what resources you have available.
On the other hand, though, no man is an island. If you're like me, you may have written out a bunch of to-do lists, downloaded some cool time management apps like Toodledo and Habitica, spent time reading about how to be more efficient, researched the scientific answers to questions about who should do what with the toilet seat, journaled, and taken a bunch of hot baths so now you look and feel like a prune. You may end up exhausted and stuck, despite all of your tried and true techniques. Like it or not, sometimes you need to talk to a neutral person who has no stake in the outcome of your thoughts, to get a new perspective.
What I found out, after I enrolled in my transformational coaching class, is that
As defined by the International Coaching Foundation, et al, coaching does not involve me telling people what to do in a clever way, which is what I was secretly hoping for. Actually, I was openly planning on it. But never mind.
Bizarrely, coaching done right is faster and more practical for the client than what I could ever provide through the clever barking of orders. And to some degree, it turns out that it is hard to explain how.
I only found out how good this particular style of coaching can be by trying it.
At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends find out that they already had the thing they most wanted. The Tin Man was already the most loving person ever, the Scarecrow the wisest, the Lion the most courageous. At any point, Dorothy could have clicked her heels together, and gone straight home.
That's the essence of coaching: it's really just a matter of finding the right Wizard or Glinda to help you see exactly how powerful and capable you already are. Maybe I'm that coach! Maybe not! But either way, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and fortune favours the brave! What are you waiting for? Find a coach!