Over 3 decades ago a distinction came into being. There was a budding awareness that true empowerment comes from within. No matter how much advice I get, I will not feel as inspired until my inner yes lights up.
Coaching was the answer to the question: "How does one help someone move beyond learning success externally to learning success internally?"
Success can be taught, yet, only up to a point. There is a point where one's potential can only be found when they relinquish learning externally and dig deep within for answers... their answers.
The Course in Miracles states: "You have [been] taught what you are. You have yet to allow what you are teach you."
Coaching was born of the recognition that true potential comes from an inner exploration, uprooting limited beliefs, locating the wisdom of the True Self.
The term coaching was also born when people, like Thomas Leonard, learned that other modalities were already in place and not capturing the essence of what was happening in coaching.
Consultants gave specialized advice and information. Therapists guided their patients to emotional healing. Mentors and clergy offered advice on how to approach a trial. Yet, there was nothing yet that truly captured the heart and essence of the process that invoked a person's own wisdom to come forth.
So over a decade ago, the distinction of coaching was born.
The term coach, comes from the horse and buggy days. Coaches didn't have a fixed point of reference. A coach showed up and the person hiring the coach said, "I'd like to go to the beach. " And the coach proceeded in the direction the client asked.
In both therapy and consulting there is a set path and destination that the therapist and consultant provide.
In coaching, the client is the one in the driver's seat at all times, "Sir, please take me by Woolsworth on the way to the beach."
This concept, of facilitating wisdom to come forth, is also secretly captured in the ancient text of the Tao Te Ching:
“A leader is best
When people barely know he exists.
Of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will say, “We did this ourselves.”
― Lao Tzu
In coaching, as compared to other modalities, we lead by following the wisdom of the client and we hold the container to get them to their destination.
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By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty