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Coaching and Training are often used interchangeably, but they are different styles of development. In a nutshell, training is more about transferring knowledge while coaching is about enhancing knowledge.

Training is driven by the trainer who generally controls the process and content to transfer knowledge and build skills.

Coaching is a facilitated conversation where the coach and client partner to create an environment and a flexible structure to achieve desired professional or personal results. It does this through helping a person focus their energies effectively, encourages the full utilization of strengths, identifies weaknesses and transforms them into strengths, applies feedback and review of key challenges, and reinforces the behaviors that serve you in order to continue progress towards your short and long-term goals.

The ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Most of my clients invest in a coaching program because the journey to achieve their goal or overcome their challenge is often complex and they know they’ll fast-track their progress with the support of a certified Coach.

Coaching programs are structured so the Client steers the journey, and the Coach acts as a trusted advisor along the way. It’s similar to fictional stories where the main character feels led to complete a task of some sort, and begins his journey with that goal in mind, but has absolutely no idea of how to make it happen. Because he has no idea of how to make it happen, the main character typically asks the person he trusts the most to accompany him on the journey to support him in any way he can. That “person” is a second set of eyes, an objective observer, and a companion to brainstorm with along the way.

During Shift Coaching programs, I become that trusted advisor, but I am never in charge of the journeyYOU are. You take the lead and I guide you towards the knowledge and resources you need each step of the journey, using the standard ICF coaching competencies (and occasional consulting, training or mentoring as needed).

The best fictional analogy I can think of for a coach/client relationship is Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings.  Frodo felt led to complete a task (destroy the ring in the fires of Mount Doom), but had no idea how to make it happen because it was a mammoth task with no clear plan of action.

Frodo knew he couldn’t do it alone, so he asked Sam to join him. Sam didn’t tell Frodo how to begin his journey or what steps he needed to take, he simply waited for Frodo to make up his mind and followed him onward. During the journey Sam helped Frodo determine the results he wanted, provided insight, asked him questions when he was curious or felt something wasn’t quite right, assisted in creating action plans, encouraged him, and held him accountable for his goal, no matter how agitated Frodo got with him along the way. Sam often helped Frodo see alternatives he hadn’t considered and his mere presence became Frodo’s strength when Frodo became too weary and wanted to give up. Overall Sam was the rock (and catalyst) that Frodo needed to achieve his goal. Without Sam, Frodo would have probably never reached Mount Doom to destroy the ring.

One of my main responsibilities as your Coach is to hold you accountable to your goals and “hold your hand” through the change process when forward movement becomes very difficult.  I always tell my clients before they start their coaching program “The change process will often be difficult and may bring periods of intense joy or intense discomfort. As you are experiencing the forward movement of change, celebrate whichever period you are in – because it means you are getting much closer to where you desire to be in your personal or professional life.”

Through my programs:

I will ensure your success by committing to providing a safe environment in which you can be yourself, and experiment, fantasize, and strategize about your choices without limitation.

I will challenge you to step outside your comfort zones to tap into your potential.

I will speak the truth as I see it, even if you may not like what you hear (because my job is to ensure that you stay on track with the vision you set at the beginning of our program).

I will also keep our conversations confidential so that you are free to express yourself however you are feeling in the moment.”

My most successful clients never give up, and push through their fears and difficult circumstances to find alternatives to get what they want no matter how hard it is during their journey.

If you are ready to invest in yourself through a Coaching Program, contact me at 404-551-3601 or click on the following link: Make the SHIFT.

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