Coaching is a kind of partnership that helps people unlock their potential, according to the site of the International Coach Federation, which states that the coach’s responsibility is to do the following:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
I spoke with Magdalena Mook, ICF’s CEO and executive director, to learn more.
“Education is very important, but it does not prepare students to make career choices or show them how to grow as professionals,” Mook says. “Working with a coach can help to crystallize some of their ideas and help them identify their own desires. It also helps them build a plan that takes them from the current dream to the future reality. Working with a coach, they develop a very specific plan and are kept accountable for taking the necessary steps to accomplish their goal.”
An ‘Opportunity to Be Mindful’
Sackeena Gordon-Jones, Ph.D., is a professional coach who formerly worked as a consultant in strategy and leadership development. She says coaching can lead to real transformation.
“The coaching relationship helps people to recognize their own strengths and to lead from a different place.”
Gordon-Jones says a coaching contract is a minimum of three to four months. For transformational change or to navigate a transition, six to 12 months is more typical. She also says that most coaching is done “face-to-face in a virtual setting,” though most campus-based coaching is done in person.
Gordon-Jones describes coaching as a “safe place to explore and discover things about yourself. It gives you the opportunity to be mindful—it allows you to be reflective and to chart a course toward what you really want.”
Jasmine Taylor, a client of Gordon-Jones’s, is a full-time public health student in her senior year at North Carolina State University. She’s found coaching to be valuable.
“In my sophomore year I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so my mom suggested a career coaching program.”
The career coaching gave her direction and helped her to focus. She was given an ability assessment to confirm her career direction. The process helped her to identify her own assets and to know herself.
Would she recommend coaching to others?
“Yes,” says Taylor. “And you don’t have to be unsure. You can be content with your life and career and still benefit.”
For more about the International Coach Federation, visit its website.