Business Coach Lisa Vanderkwaak of Real U Institute, Image ‘Looking for a Coach?’What is Coaching?

Coaching is a unique and distinct profession that combines the best of many fields. It is a collaborative relationship between a coach and an individual who is desiring to move from where they are to where they want to be in life. Thomas Crane in his book “The Heart of Coaching”describes coaching as “a communication process that focuses on connecting people to performance”.

Real U Coaching goes deeper and focuses on connecting people with their core values, passions, and divine purpose. From this place of self-connection, flows the ability to connect more significantly with others, whether in personal or professional relations. In turn, the clients experience a higher level of  performance as they learn to go  from busy activity to streamlined productivity.  Benefits of such coaching include increased clarity, focus and creativity  to overcome blocks to growth and to move forward to a place of fulfillment and impact.

In “The One Minute Manager,” Ken Blanchard called feedback “the breakfast of champions” — an apt sports metaphor. Feedback is the primary way in which professional athletes learn about barriers that limit their performance.

Most highly successful athletes hire not one, but several coaches, each with specialized training expertise and perspectives. They use their coaches’ feedback to create a performance benchmark against which they monitor progress and change. Their coaches make the difference between their success and failure. From athletes, we can learn to love feedback as a way of growing and developing to our full potential.’  Heart of Coaching by Thomas Crane.

Coaching is powerful because of 3 unique features:

  1. Synergy – Client and Coach become a team, focusing on client’s goals and needs to accomplish more than they would on their own.
  2. Structure – With a Coach,  a client gains clarity on what they want, take more forward action, learn to engage the possibilities, and become more  focused and productive, thanks to the accountability the coach provides.
  3. Commitment – A coach is committed to helping clients lead a more successful, fulfilling life. Bringing knowledge, wisdom and insight, a coach stays with the client throughout the process as clients learn to establish personal foundations, discover meaningful connections, make smarter decisions, improve relationships, set strategic goals, and restructure their professional and personal lives  to move forward with authenticity, skill and confidence. The client’s commitment to the process is paramount to the outcome.

Coaching is really about growth and transformation. Often we are not living our greatness because we do not understand the process involved in  order to get there. Coaching is a conversation between the coach and client where the coach helps you, the client, to discover who you are, what’s really holding you back , and how to leverage your strengths, time, and finances and overcome your challenges to experience the life you were designed to.

Author and leadership expert,  Peter Drucker once said:  “The ageless essence of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make a system of weaknesses irrelevant”.

Coaching helps make this a reality.

The REAL U Model

R – Relationship oriented. Similar to the co-active model, whereby the coach and client become active collaborators, a relationship where the needs and goals of the client are the agenda. The coach provides the support, accountability, compassion and objectivity necessary to help the client consider how their decisions affect their most important relationships. It places a high value on strengthening key relationships in meaningful ways.

E – Empowering dialogue. At the heart of effective communication is dialogue. Both during the coaching conversation and after the sessions, individuals learn and experience the value of improved communication in developing authenticity and individual and team productivity. Through listening, powerful questions and appropriate requests, clients feel empowered to grow beyond what they would without coaching. Clients learn how to engage in transformational conversations and embrace the process of change.

A – Alignment focused. One of the purposes of coaching is to help clients align their behaviours with their core values in such a way that they are living authentically. It is only when a person is living true to who they are and their sense of calling can they truly experience fulfillment and success. Coaching helps you make those strategic movements forward.

L – Living Authentically  takes courage and intentional choices.

U – Unique Contribution. No two people are alike, just like no two snowflakes nor two fingerprints will ever be alike. Because we are all uniquely designed we have the capacity to make a unique contribution for the people we come in contact with. The question to ponder is “How are people’s lives different because of coming across your path?” Coaching helps to draw out this uniqueness and empower you to live it more fully.

How Coaching is Different!

Coaching vs. Counseling
Coaching focuses on where you are and where you want to be in the future. A coach will help you discover who you are, gain clarity of your vision, your unique purpose, the obstacles holding you back, and the strategic steps to making your dream a reality. Although a coach may touch on issues in your past, it will be for the purpose of identifying patterns and how they are affecting you from going forward.  Coaching takes in the whole picture for the purpose of moving you forward.

Coaching vs. Mentoring
A coach will focus on the development of people in general, and particularly, the development of your unique path to fulfilling your potential. Traditionally, a mentor focuses on a specific area that is also a strength in the mentor’s life. A coach is more interested in helping you walk in your own strengths and unique purpose, which may be very different from the coach’s.

Coaching vs. Consulting
A coach focuses on helping you implement the plan that is right for you along your path to fulfillment and success. Coaching helps you discover how to become more of whom you need to be to get the results you desire. Ultimately, you are responsible for the benefits you receive from coaching. In contrast, a consultant usually takes responsibility for the outcomes of a specific project, acting as the specialist.

Benefits of Coaching

  • Discover who you are, and how you are wired.
  • Clarify values, vision, and strategies.
  • Identify obstacles and ways to close the gap.
  • Become a high-impact authentic leader.
  • Create balance between family and career.
  • Make changes to live life more intentionally.
  • Gain freedom and peace of mind.
  • Restore integrity and health in relationships.
  • Create the life you were meant to live.
  • Live out your unique purpose and calling

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but who they become by it” – John Ruskin

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