What does it mean to be a transformational coach? Those that I know engage with their clients on a much deeper level. They are thoughtful, adaptable, and courageous. These coaches invest in understanding the story, beliefs, and even the lies that hold their partners back. They understand the profound truth that a mindset change is imperative to moving another down the path of behavioral change. It is an inside job.
Most coaches give way too much advice. They don’t coach; they talk too much and often suck the oxygen from the room. Coaching is about creating a participative atmosphere so others can uncover answers on their own terms. It is Socratic, facilitative, and nondirective. It may feed your ego to constantly share your opinions, but that is not coaching. Coaches unlock potential lying dormant and are comfortable allowing others to figure out their own problems. Their job is to ask the right question and to light the fuse in others.
As a facilitator and performance coach, I spend 80 percent of my time reading, researching, pausing, and uncovering hidden blind spots which hinder a client’s mindset. Make no mistake: the very best leaders I know are very reflective, emotionally balanced, and are practitioners of effective coaching.
A coach’s role is to facilitate the process of self-discovery by helping the other person “uncover” their goals, limiting beliefs, and assisting them in rewriting their personal story. To help another, they must be willing to let you into their inner struggles. In other words, they must trust you.
A transformational coach helps associates discover:
- Limiting assumptions, fears, or lies hindering one’s confidence.
- Broader self-awareness helping another show up with impact and relevance.
- A holistic approach to build relationships and purposefully (not compulsively) achieve results.
- They ask thought-provoking questions that cause the individual to confront the lies or false assumptions hindering a relaxed, empowered mindset.
- They practice deep listening and observe how best to help another see themselves, in a non-judgmental and objective way.
- They create and hold safe spaces for transparent discussion, reflection, and internal assessment.
Transformational coaches help you to get to the foundation of a problem instead of focusing on the symptoms. Once you understand the truth, you then have the power to choose new behaviors and design your own personal growth plan.
A behavioral change is the byproduct of self-discovery and personal experience, not the direction of an overzealous manager or self-proclaimed guru. Transformational coaches are catalysts, conduits, and facilitators of change.
DOES YOUR COACHING PHILOSOPHY NEED A TUNE-UP?