Coaching through the rain

The majority of people think about coaching in terms of sports training and commitment to high physical performance; of hour after hour training in the rain. But what can coaching do for people in other walks of life? Whether you’re the striker for Arsenal or a charity executive responsible for leading an organisation, you bring the issues that you’re facing to the coaching session. Coaches work with people one-on-one or with small teams. The coach creates a bubble where you can focus on key things you want to achieve and can talk, reflect and search for solutions freely, confidentially and without judgement.

My first experience of being coached was liberating. The weight of my dilemma began to lift from my shoulders as I realised why I was struggling to make a decision. With the space to talk about and around the issues and being challenged by a coach, who had no experience of my situation, I felt much more positive. I didn’t find a solution in just one session, but through talking about it and taking responsibility for my decisions I was more committed to taking a chosen course of action to resolve the issue.

As a coach, I value the importance of listening and asking good, effective questions and have seen the impact this can have. It can see you through the rain.

I’d love to hear whether you’ve thought about coaching as a way to find a solution, have never considered coaching, or if you’ve just got a view on this topic. Over my next few blog posts on coaching I’m going to be exploring deeper how it can help individuals and organisations, giving practical tips I’ve learnt that you can use in your own life. I’ll also be looking at reasons why people might think coaching isn’t for them. Do you think coaching can make a difference in the voluntary sector?

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Sarah Gilbert Sarah Gilbert is an experienced campaigner. She is an independent consultant and runs projects for NCVO on campaigning and influencing, including the Certificate in Campaigning and Leadership in Campaigns. She also coaches campaigners, has guest lectured for Roehampton University, and is a member of the advisory board for the University of Westminster's MA in Campaigning, Communications and Media. Sarah sits on the Campaigning Effectiveness Advisory Board and writes blogs, articles and tweets about how to influence people and the sector’s role in campaigning.

2 Responses to Coaching through the rain

  1. David Pastor says:

    Coaching is something that I’m trying to learn to do more of – but it’s hard, especially if you’re faced with someone who isn’t a good coachee. It takes time, patience and perseverance!

  2. Sarah Gilbert says:

    Thanks for your comment David. It inspired me to write my next blog http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2011/10/05/accelerate-your-thinking-with-a-little-bit-of-chemistry about the role a coach plays and how to establish a positive connection with a coachee.