You don’t need to get a coach to fix something wrong with you. Coaching is a gift, for coachees to be better versions of themselves. Coaching is neither psychiatry, nor psychotherapy, nor counseling, nor consulting, nor mentoring, nor training.
Coaching is enriched by these disciplines and is delivered through an adult learning process, addressing the whole person. Everyone needs a professional coach! Do you have one? If not, it’s time you have one.
The way an adult chooses to learn is very different from the way a child or a young person learns. Here are some interesting characteristics of andragogy (adult learning) that get manifested in a coaching relationship!
First, allowing oneself to learn, permitting someone to teach are very essential characteristics of adult learning as opposed to learning by younger persons. The coachee must feel the need to be better than what he is now, without which the coaching process will experience starting problem.
Second, due to their life and professional experiences, adults are generally prone to be judgemental about others, including the coach. The coachee tends to think ‘what does she know that I don’t know’ whirring in his mind, and he is right! The coach doesn’t have the solution. She is skilled in opening the mind of the coachee to find his own best way forward.
Third, the power to focus and concentrate appears to be higher in younger persons, less burdened by past experiences. I guess the clutter in the minds of both must be overcome. The coach must create acoustics that would make listening easier.
Fourth, the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) occurs primarily during adolescence and is fully accomplished at around the age of 25. As PFC gets developed, adult learning becomes a deliberate effort with greater fear of failure. The coach must create a psychologically safe space for the coachee.
Fifth, a young person suffers less from biases and prejudices compared to an adult. Imagine the biases in the mind of the coach as well as the coachee that would distort communication, verbal and non-verbal, between the two of them. The coach must be able to work around these biases.
Sixth, adults would accept new learning only by seeing the application of the learning delivering positive outcomes in real-time. Coaching is result-oriented. It would be a joy for a coach to see the coachee coming back with a smile on her face.
Look forward to seeing my coachees win some medals! What do you think?
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