Coaching gives you an opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life, but limiting coaching to this definition is myopic. Yes, the coaching process is bounded by time but the impact of an effective coaching transcends the limits it sets. It is in this context that coaching becomes more than just a great program or a tested curriculum passed on from one user to another. It evolves into a set of principles written in the hearts of others by a life that lived them out. So it is not just about the coachee but also about you, the coach. This is about making coaching as your legacy.
It is true that coaching focusses on helping the client reach their specific goal, but If we intend coaching to be a legacy it should be done with intentionality and with the perspective that life is brief and that everyone passes through this earthly abode only once. It should emphasise that one’s life in this world should count not only for the moment and the future but also for the time when it is not around anymore.
Actually, coaching takes on the form of a legacy the moment a coach desires and intends to make his/her life a positive influence on the client. As the coaching process builds on this foundation a life that has lived out the principles being taught is passed on. During the sessions the coachee develops insights and gains different perspectives on how one’s life can influence the lives of others for the better even long after the sessions are over. The life of a coach becomes, to the coachee, a living inspiration to pursue a purposeful life that is a catalyst of positive and enduring change not only in one’s self but also in the lives of others.
Coaching can only be considered a legacy if it produces successors imbibed with the capacity to also positively influence others not only in their lifetime but even beyond their time. In this manner you afford your coachee that rare opportunity to be remembered not by their name but also by what they will leave behind. A good legacy is perpetuated in the passage of time and the name attached to it is seldom forgotten.
“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” —Benjamin Disraeli
The quality of the coaching outcome is directly correlated to your personal growth as a coach. A coach cannot take a client farther than the limits of his/her own experience. In making coaching a legacy we need to have a practical and clear perspective of the values we can and cannot genuinely pass on. This is so because legacy coaching is intentionally acting out a process that ensures that the life principles the coach has lived out is passed on and continue to thrive even long after the coaching is over.
Your answers to the following questions may help you create the framework around which to build or develop your coaching legacy:
- What lasting values do I want to create?.
- What kind of seeds should I plant in the life of my coachee so that even the next generation could benefit from their fruits?
- How do I want my coaching and my life to be remembered?
As a coach who intends to pass on a legacy to your clients, how can your sessions assist them to explore and discover the legacy that is truly theirs??
- It should help them to make their remaining years count not only for the now but for the future by planting the right seeds.
- It should inspire them to ponder on the kind of impact they want to make on the people around them.
- It should motivate them to live a deliberate and purposeful life with the knowledge that life is fleeting and that every moment should count.
- It should instill in them the passion to use their potential to catalyse positive changes in their sphere of influence — changes that will outlast them.
- It should inspire them to pass on the baton to others by embarking on a lifestyle that coaches others to also live out and uphold values and principles that make the world a better place.
The passage of time and the numerous events in life may blur your face or even your name in your coachees’ memories. It should not be an issue to fret about. What really matters most is the legacy that has been passed on from you, to them, and to others. It may not have your name on it but it surely carries your influence.
“The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.” — Myles Munroe
To learn more about coaching contact the Australian Institute of Professional Coaches on 1300 309 360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you soon.