It struck me the other day how easy it is these days to accumulate knowledge. Powerful and successful leaders have all written books outlining how they made it to the top. The shelves of bookshops are filled with books on leadership, team building and how to be a success. Which means that it is not due to a lack of knowledge that individuals are not getting it right.

Training programmes abound with the stated intent of teaching you how to become a better leader, a better individual, you name it there is a book to make you better. Yet in business today these skills (be it leadership, team work or just the ability to get things done) are still rare. So what is the missing ingredient ?

It takes more than a theoretical knowledge to make it in today’s world. You can read as many books as Echardt Tolle can put out and still not change who you are. You can read every book by Jack Walsh and still not get out of the typing pool. The missing ingredient is the ability to turn words and theory into practice … which is where coaching is so powerful.
As a coach my job is to take all the knowledge you have accumulated (be it through books or actual experience) and create a space that allows you to create and then practice new habits based on that theory. As a coach my goal is to give you the opportunity to connect with your courage and remember what it was like as a child to learn, to practice and to experiment until you found a way that worked for you. As a coach it is my job to let you create your own unique recipe that works to your strengths and allows you to fulfill your grandest vision of who you could be.
Sounds very salesy perhaps but here is the thing, it works. I am always amazed at how much knowledge people have. In fact often the hardest part of my job is listening as they debate with themselves, throwing this piece of knowledge against that in an effort to decide what it is they should do. At the end of these solo debates my clients have a habit of looking to me sadly and saying “I just don’t know what to do”. Which is when I have to find a way of repeating back all the ideas and suggestions they presented but just did not see.
My job as a coach is to listen and summarise and most importantly just allow every client the space they need to start to remember how to create. The realy scary part is that the power to create as an individual is no longer a process that many are comfortable with. Indeed, learning how to take your knowledge and create something new that works for you seems to be a skill that few of us have. Those that do have it are idolized. Yet, sooner (or later) every person I coach takes that first step and just tries. They take a stand to see what would happen if they did something new. They step away from the situation (and how they used to handle it) toward what they want and how they are going to get there using the knowledge they have. It is one of the most rewarding moments to witness.

So next time someone asks you what coaching is all about, remember this. Coaching allows you to take your knowledge and turn it into a practical skill and that is something that is priceless in today’s fast paced and competitive world.