Benefits of Coaching to Individuals

April 1, 2020

Man feeling secure and assured amidst the economic and health crisis brought about by the corona virus because he is being coached

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way we operate in terms of socialising, working and general living. Most countries have mandated self-quarantine practices in place to contain the spread of the virus. People are required to stay at home and minimise contact with the outside. In times of uncertainty, it is common for employees to feel distressed or discouraged by the ambiguity of the future.

However, in the comfort of your own home, self-isolation can be used to reflect on your own approach to  home-life, work-life and, most importantly, career and self-development in ways that would not be feasible when working from an office space. Seligman believes there are two ways of thinking about stressful events in our lives – optimistically or pessimistically.

Pessimists tend to believe that these events will last a long time, will determine everything they do and, to a degree, are their own fault.  At the core of this pessimistic approach to life is that of helplessness. According to Seligman, helplessness is a state in which nothing that one purposefully does has any effect on what happens to them.

 If you were to approach self-quarantine in a pessimistic way, you may easily be overwhelmed by the many factors that are supposedly preventing your progress. Therefore, it is in your best interest to have an external force who will help you overcome these limiting beliefs. That external force is a coach –  someone who can help you change your view of this “helpless” situation.

Coaches, according to Kurter (2020), are “trusted confidants that have the best interests of the individual and company at all times.” They are people who ask questions that provoke or challenge the way one thinks, help identify solutions to a variety of issues presented in an innovative manner, point out areas of improvement and draw from an individual’s strengths. In other words, coaches help you identify your strong and weak points, and encourage you to strengthen your strong traits and improve on your weak points in order to be better and more effective employees and individuals in general.

In a recent study, researchers found that coaching had effectively reduced procrastination and facilitated attainment of goals. More specifically, individual coaching “created a high degree of satisfaction and was superior in helping participants attaining their goal” (Losch, et. al, 2016)

At a personal level, individuals who are coached develop greater self-awareness of their situation and what they need. One of the biggest benefits of having a coach is having someone who is objective, non-judgmental and a good listener. The coach helps you come to terms with what’s happening in your life, as well as the part you have played in the situation.

A second major benefit of individual coaching is that clients learn how to resolve problems for themselves as part of their personal development. They gain feedback on what they are doing right and reinforcement for the positive aspects of their life. The coach works with clients to help improve their communication with others and develop better interpersonal relationships.

It may be that clients need to become more assertive and the coach shows them how to do this that will bring about positive effects rather than negative consequences. It may be that the client is experiencing conflict with another person and the coach works with them to develop better strategies to resolve situations more productively. It may be that the client is experiencing great stress and the coach helps them to alter the situation or change their reaction to the stressor.

 Although there is a limit of activities to be done at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, improving yourself is an alternative option for employees who must work from home and follow the self-quarantine guidelines. It may be difficult to become motivated during a time of crisis, but coaching will help you set your goals and outlook in place once again. Individual coaching is able to motivate an employee to do their best and improve on their work in the confines of their home.

To learn more about how coaching can benefit you or your team members, or if you want to become a professional coach yourself, contact the Australian Institute of Professional Coaches on 1300 309 360 or visit our website www.professionalcoachtraining.com.au