Organizational Coaching "…Catalyst For Success"
According to the International Coach Federation, "Professional Coaching is an on-going partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in theri personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance the quality of life. Beginning with the clients' desires, coaching uses reporting, exploring, and a consistent commitment to action to move the client forward. Coaching accelerates the clients' progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be tomorrow." As a organizational and time management coach for adults with A.D.D., I define coaching as the catalyst for success. Discovery is the first word that comes to mind whenever I think of my profession. I truly believe that we all have within us, what we need, to live rich and fulfilling lives, and as a coach, I help individuals discover this. Coaching is a process of learning by inquiry, not by consultation. As a coach I am there to assist my client’s personal discovery through self awareness. I do this by providing encouragement and support each step along the way, giving feedback when appropriate to help build upon each success, no matter how small. This process becomes self-fulfilling, as one success leads to another. As a coach, I am the catalyst for that upward spiral they are about to embark upon when they decide to begin the coaching experience. In my office, or over the phone, the coaching experience consists of three phases. Assessing the situation is the first phase of creating an upward spiral. This is where we assess what needs to be accomplished through organization. Many clients come to me very clear about their limitations and what they can’t do to get organized, but are unaware of their strengths and what they can do. All too often their weaknesses have been pointed out to them over and over, and their differences in learning styles and abilities have been the source of pain and rejection. In other words, they have experienced that dreaded downward spiral of goofing up, feeling bad about it, not caring, giving up, and then goofing up even more. What new clients often do not recognize, is their own strength and determination. Many are hungry for the upward spiral to begin, but just don’t know how to jump start it, to make it happen. That it where a good coach can be of help. The place to start is always where you are at, so a thorough inventory of the client’s capabilities is a powerful place to begin. I find this list to be unending with my unorganized clients, as they are creative, intuitive, energetic, entrepreneurial, fun-loving, quiet, loud, zany, impulsive, courageous, stubborn, and more. They are their fingerprints, and for them to fully realize this is always the best place to begin. Rock solid self esteem comes from celebrating the fact that there is no one else in the world just like you. The first phase, as well as the next two, involve what I refer to as re-framing, or seeing the glass half full, instead of half empty. This is very valuable, as it helps create motivation and sustain it. One thirty five year old client came to me very tired of the limitations his disorganization had created for him. When he learned new, more effective organizational skills, he was able to be organized, without being a "neat freak", and took a great deal of pride in being flexible and relaxed without experiencing chaos. Once the client gets the hang of re-framing, watch out! That upward spiral is pretty hard to slow down. Individuals who can clearly define what they have to work with, and what they need to work on, are ready for the second phase of the upward spiral process. Committing to a game plan for getting organized and managing time is phase two. As clients recognize their special abilities and uniqueness in phase one, self-esteem begins to flourish. Motivation becomes natural, and the possibilities of what can be done, start to take shape as the client enters phase two. In this phase of coaching, the client makes a commitment to begin working on what is important for their self development and growth. It may be discovered that working on clutter control is a priority, or that organizational skills are what is needed most. One client described phase two best by saying, "It’s such a relief to know where to start, and to finally be ready to do something about it." Clearly defining what needs to be done with measurable criteria is an important part of phase two. Writing down what you want to accomplish, with all the specifics, is very important. It later serves as a reminder of how of far you have come, as well as what still needs to be done. Re-framing in phase two consists of looking at your goals as a challenge, instead of work. To sustain motivation and increase the likely-hood of success, it is very important to determine the value of what it is you are doing. One client whose "piles and messes" had detrimental effects on her relationship with family members, was able to remind herself how "clean up" behaviors would benefit not only herself, but create more harmony within the family. This was a source of comfort for her, as she resolved to continue her efforts at developing more appropriate and "neater" habits. Connecting with the worth of what it was she wanted, made the process easier. The third phase is to take action. Being there to encourage my clients and help keep them on track is both strenuous and rewarding. This is the learning phase where we make an agreement not to use the word failure. When results aren’t as expected, we agree to re-frame the situation, seeing what was positive about it and what can be learned from it to continue that upward spiral. It’s important in this phase to keep trying, until you find what works. This is when most individuals give up, if they don’t have a coach to encourage them. Coaching provides a warm and supportive environment in which to grow and learn safely. This is the fun phase for me, as it’s where I get to be a cheerleader and say real cool things like, "Way to go!" It’s also where I need to step aside so I don’t get in the way as the spiral grows. Knowing that my clients are ready to continue on their own is my best reward as a coach. As I watch my clients tap into their full potential, I am comforted by knowing that I have been the catalysts to that process for them and can do the same for others to come.