Coaching As I See It
I remember a time when I was between jobs and wasn’t working outside the home. At a cocktail party I was asked the defining question, “So, what do you do?” In all seriousness, I reached for some business cards my husband had printed for me which stated, “Domestic Goddess.” You can imagine the lively conversation which followed. Now my business card says, “Learning Coach” and it promotes conversation as well, because most people don’t quite know what that means.
Simply put, I work with clients on a 1 to 1 basis with the aim of ultimately helping them improve their professional, scholastic or personal life. Some clients need help with changing some behaviors, improving self-perception and/or increasing achievement by learning some new skills.
A good coach helps the client to identify areas which need working on and then set goals for himself. We also discuss former roadblocks to progress and barriers to his learning. This is important because the last thing a coach wants to do is present the client with the same strategies which obviously didn’t work in the past.
A Learning Coach must design a plan for the client to help him achieve better results in such a way which compliments him. Every client or student doesn’t learn in the same way so identifying the learning style of the client and basing strategies from that vantage point, gives you the greatest chance of maximizing his learning potential.
In the case of a client wanting to improve upon or learn a new skill, I approach it from a “Constructivist” point of view. Constructivism applied to learning theory states that learners learn best when they construct knowledge for themselves. As a coach, I guide and facilitate the process by providing the client with activities to participate in. He is no longer a passive recipient of information but a creative explorer. The client engages in hands on learning where he can test his ideas and draw his own conclusions.
Taking a Constructivist approach taps into the client’s natural curiosity and helps to keep him engaged and motivated. In the end what I’ve really done is help the client learn how to learn.