Are you a new coach?
Do you want to become an undeniable presence in the coaching industry?
Are you looking to get your ideal clients fast?
The answer to all the above questions is- an ideal coaching philosophy.
A coaching philosophy outlines your coaching approach and core values. It sets the foundation for your coaching program to prosper.
Now you might be thinking- How to create your coaching philosophy?
Ideally, you do not DEVELOP but DISCOVER your coaching philosophy.
And how do you do that?
Simply ask yourself- “Why do you coach?”
A coaching philosophy incorporates- teaching and leadership style, communications, strategy, etc.
I am sure you are eager to get a comprehensive perspective.
In this blog, I have discussed many points that will help you to DISCOVER your coaching philosophy.
Why delay then?
What is a coaching philosophy?
Before jumping to the “HOW” part of How to create your coaching philosophy, let’s understand:
What is a coaching philosophy?
In simple words, a coaching philosophy outlines the coach’s attitude.
What is the purpose of the coach?
What are the main objectives of the coach?
What are the principles of the coach?
What is the coach’s coaching style?
How does the coach deal with the clients?
What is the coach’s communication strategy?
What are the coach’s core values?
The coaching philosophy is made up of all the above points.
It can be challenging to be a coach. As a coach, you need to make decisions that will impact not only you but also your clients. You need to meet the needs of your clients.
In order to do all this effectively and accomplish goals, a coaching philosophy is a must.
A coaching philosophy guides you while communicating with clients. It reflects who you are and who you aim to be.
The coaching philosophy is extremely unique to a coach. It varies from one coach to another. It is based on the following:
- Experiences of the coach
- Knowledge of the coach
- Values of the coach
- Opinions of the coach
- Beliefs of the coach
Amongst all of the above, values play a major role. The reason is that your values are a measure of what is important to you.
So, is the idea of a coaching philosophy clearer?
Now, the next question is:
“How long should be your coaching philosophy?”
Some people usually take a couple of sentences to define their coaching philosophies. Others capture them in a couple of words. Some coaches even take paragraphs to outline their coaching philosophies.
So which one is ideal?
You can create it the way you want.
All good philosophies regardless of their length have one thing in common.
And what’s that?
They explain the purpose, beliefs, and principles that the coach follows.
Below are some examples:
Success is building a transformation in the Client. The aim is to fasten the client’s pace to achieve set goals.
To create enthusiasm and passion for the client for his/her goals. To make the individual accountable, determined and committed in order to achieve the ultimate potential. To create a positive environment for the client which ensures constant growth with full support and guidance. It seems easy but isn’t!
How to create a coaching philosophy?- Let’s understand the need first!
What is the need for a coaching philosophy?
Why can’t we proceed without it?
Won’t it take time which I can invest elsewhere- maybe in marketing efforts?
Indeed it will take some time, but that time would be worth investing!
As a coach you must be clear on where you are heading and how will you get there.
Who will set the guiding principles?
How will you identify your destination?
Who will decide the methods that you will use to reach there?
Your COACHING PHILOSOPHY!
Your coaching philosophy will impact your coaching sessions.
This will decide the development of your client.
Coaching is challenging. You will need to make ethical decisions at times. By having a clear coaching philosophy you can take more appropriate decisions. This will enable you to coach more effectively.
A coaching philosophy helps you to stay consistent. It let you stay firm during external pressures.
A coaching philosophy is critical from the client’s perspective too.
It removes uncertainty and let your client understand your coaching model better.
For instance, your client can better understand your action plans, communication way, long-term goals, etc.
A clear coaching philosophy helps everyone in your coaching environment.
A coach who is clear in his ideas and strategies is always welcomed!
How to create a coaching philosophy?- Factors that affect it
Your coaching philosophy should strive to accomplish just one goal.
And that is:
Constant improvement of your clients.
Your clients are the ones who will skyrocket your growth.
How would you bring TRANSFORMATION in your clients?
Write all the points that hit your mind at once.
For instance, thinking from the customer’s perspective is important.
Encapsulate all the jotted points in your coaching philosophy. Keep revising it as you proceed.
It seems easy, right?
Yes, it is!
But there are certain factors that affect your coaching philosophy.
And what are they?
Let’s have a look.
The coach’s personality matters a lot. The way you deal with your clients have a great impact. Your attitude, behavior, and approach to your coaching niche will define the response that you will receive through your clients.
Make sure that the flow isn’t random. Craft your coaching philosophy in a way that it ensures that you possess an impactful personality.
Imbibe the habits and qualities of successful coaches.
Training and Education
The training and education have a great impact on coaches’ coaching philosophies.
Did you take a coaching course?
Do you possess any formal qualifications? (Degrees or Diplomas?)
Were you a trainee for some time in any organization?
Did you get professional development opportunities? (Like watching other coaches or learning about various coaching niches?)
Then all your learnings and experiences may be visible in your coaching philosophy.
Did you have mentors previously?
Great! You have another factor to impact your coaching philosophy!
Ahh…I hear you say- “You don’t!”
That isn’t possible. Don’t you had teachers and managers? During schools and colleges? After all, all of them are mentors, right?
If you have learned from a mentor in a formal setting that’s an additional advantage.
EXPERIENCES will affect your coaching philosophy the most. No matter good or bad, all of them were inspiring!
So, the next time when this question pops up- How to create your coaching philosophy?- Make sure you take a dive into the flashback to get your answer!
How to write your coaching philosophy?
Everyone who coaches has a coaching philosophy. If you are not writing it down, your philosophy will be at a subconscious level.
Now the question is:
Why do you need to write your coaching philosophy?
This helps you to better examine your coaching philosophy. Writing helps you to get a clear understanding. This way you can validate that your coaching philosophy is appropriate.
Until and unless it is not on paper, the results won’t be effective. You will struggle to use it to guide your coaching practice.
I hope now you understand why writing your coaching philosophy is important.
Next question is:
How should you write your coaching philosophy?
Or, in other words:
How to create your coaching philosophy?
Your coaching philosophy is a statement which will include three things:
- Your coaching objectives
- Your coaching approach
- Your core values
Your coaching objectives should include what you want to achieve. This will also include what you want your clients to achieve.
Before setting your objectives, you should be clear on your values. Your values will set the grounds for your objectives.
How would you discover your values?
This involves RAISING SELF AWARENESS.
How to raise self-awareness?
And what do you mean by that?
Raising self-awareness means getting to know your strengths and weakness. This also includes knowing what is important to you and how do you react in different situations.
Remember that you discover your coaching philosophy. And for that to happen, first you need to discover yourself.
And how do you do that?
By asking the below set of questions to yourself:
What is my objective?
How do I react in situations?
How will I react in the future?
The below example will illustrate this process.
Coach Mack never gave a thought on his coaching philosophy. To identify his values he thinks of doing some reflection. He decides to reflect on some important situation that occurred during his previous session.
He remembers how once he had to deal with a client who was rude in behavior. The client was stubborn and not ready to listen. He recognizes that one of his objectives is to hear the client patiently.
Mack remembers how he interrupted in between which annoyed the client even more. Although his intention was correct since the client was not in a mood to understand, the situation went worse. Mack’s reaction was to cut the lines of the client and explain his view.
He later realized that he should have had first heard the client patiently. His body language and attitude must have encouraged the client to open up the way he wanted. Thereafter he should have taken the client in confidence by explaining his part.
This process helped Mack to identify one of his values.
And that is:
Listening to the client patiently over-explaining his view.
This has made him clear about how he should react in the future.
Reflecting on your responses to situations will help you to understand your values better.
To help you better, start by answering the below questions:
- Why do you coach?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the definition of an ideal coach for you?
- What do you consider as the most important thing to teach?
- What does success mean for you?
Why understanding your environment is important?
The environment will play a major role when you answer- How to create a coaching philosophy.
For instance, if your target audience is youngsters, you cannot expect a high level of maturity and discipline.
Who you are coaching and where you are coaching will impact your philosophy.
You must consider the place and culture while formulating your coaching philosophy.
Recent top coaching trends and development in your coaching niche may also have an impact.
Before finalizing your objectives, you must understand your target audience.
Setting the objectives
After you are clear with your values, it is time to set your objectives. These will inform your philosophy.
Your objectives must address three areas.
- Competitive performance
- Client’s transformation
- Client’s enjoyment
Now your job is to identify your objectives for each of these components.
This decision would be based on your values, clients’ needs, and your environment.
I hope now the process of writing a coaching philosophy is much clear.
In a nutshell,
You want to have a statement that conveys the following;
- Your coaching objectives
- The core values that would inform the way that you coach.
- The approach that you will use to coach your clients.
You may need to revise the same multiple times. Keep going until the statement sums up your philosophy on coaching.
How do you use your coaching philosophy?
Many coaches write their coaching philosophies, keep them in their drawer and forget.
If you want your coaching philosophy to be effective you must use it. This means you must live it day in and day out.
You must abide by your philosophy always. No matter whether the situation involves pressure or sudden events.
Another point where you should use your philosophy is while making decisions. If you are unsure what to choose, have a look at your philosophy. If it is well-written it will guide you to choose the right thing.
Maintaining your philosophy is a difficult task.
One way of doing it is reflecting on the challenging situations that you face.
Did the way I react matches my philosophy?
Take time to reflect on your coaching philosophy. Make sure that it is abreast with the current needs of your client. If you are getting negative responses very often, identify what you should change in your philosophy.
How to create your coaching philosophy?- Important points to consider
Below are some important points to consider in the process. Let’s have a look at them.
As a coach, you need to set standards that you want to achieve. These standards will help you to meet the expected performance level. These will apply to you as well as your clients. The standards will help you to evaluate your coaching program.
Suppose that you are a corporate coach. Your target audience is startup entrepreneurs. Your clients must actualize their business ideas into a viable business model by the end of your coaching program.
Define your leadership style
Your leadership style will differentiate you from the rest. This will help you to create a solid presence in your coaching niche.
Set your own leadership style and make sure it develops as you grow. You need a participatory kind of leadership. Ensure that the participants get the opportunity to actively get involved.
Think beyond tactics
Many coaches start describing their coaching session process on being asked about their philosophy. A coaching philosophy is more about your values and belief system. It must reflect your approach to relation-building, decision-making, and interactions.
You must be accountable for your coaching philosphy. Demonstrate that your coaching philosophy is real, robust and tangible.
Communicate your philosophy
Openly and publicly declare your intentions. Take care that you take responsibility for your future actions. Articulate your philosphy well. Be prepared to be challenged if you do not fulfill what you publicize.
Think what others would say about your philosophy
Would your clients identify your coaching philosophy without you telling them? Does the way you conduct yourself speaks your coaching philosophy?
Live your philosophy each day
Do you know what is the best way to present your philosphy?
By living it!
Yeah! Writing your philosophy is important but living it is even more!
Your philosophy should be connected to your actual actions and behaviors. Your philosophy will lack credibility if it only appears as a written document.
Don’t be afraid to tweak your philosophy
You would never fully understand the context and environment that you work in. You will face new situations. You will have to deal with different kinds of clients. Processes would evolve along the journey.
The changes will compel you to adjust your philosophy accordingly. This doesn’t mean that you need to change your values or compromise with them. You may need to change the approach, style or methods a little bit. You may also add some more objectives according to recent experiences or knowledge gained.
There is no ideal coaching philosophy. We all adapt to changes and so does our coaching philosophies.
How to create your coaching philosophy- Principles that will assist you!
- Always be YOURSELF. Don’t try to copy anyone. Believe your unique points and keep striving to get better.
- Always be consistent in your efforts.
- Define your coaching objectives well. Ask yourself:
Why do you coach?
What do you expect at the end of the day?
What is success for you?
- Establish rules. Set norms and include discipline.
- Build and nurture relationships with your clients.
- Be organized and adaptive to changes
How will you involve your team members?
How will you manage the resources?
How will you set your priorities- investment, marketing, etc?
- Focus on the big picture
Finally, we have come to the end of the blog!
I hope you could get deep insights into how to create your coaching philosphy.
A coaching philosophy guides you through your coaching journey. It helps you to accomplish your objectives without compromising your values. It sets a clear path for you to skyrocket your growth. A concrete coaching philosophy along with solid coaching products and services will multiply your growth chances.
A coaching philosophy sets the right direction. Coaches can build the right development path for their clients. This allows the coaches to set more effective, measurable and attainable short-term and long term goals.
Your clients will get a clear idea of what and how to expect. This will also attract ideal clients who resonate with your coaching philosophy. In this way, you can filter out the non-committed clients.
With these essentials, you are ready to go! Remember that your philosophy is not set in stones. Review your philosophy over time to strengthen it. Never begin without a concrete coaching philosophy. It will determine the success of your coaching program.
Now that you have understood how to create a coaching philosphy, it’s time to create your own!
Build it, clarify it, write it and follow it. This will refine your coaching practice and make you a more effective coach.
If you need any help, I am always there beside you!