What is Coaching?

  • Yene Assegid
  • January 20, 2017

The term “Coaching” is not new per se. It would be reasonable to assume that most people know what a “Coachis; or what Coaching is, at least it is possible to assume that most people have a sense of what it might be. At the same time, it would also be reasonable that many might associate the profession of a Coach to that of a trainer, or a mentor, or even a counselor or therapist. Yet, Coaching is so different from mentoring, from counseling or even teaching or training.
So, what is coaching? 

In a nut shell,  Coaching is the process by which an individual client or an organization works with aCoach to bring about clarity, deeper understanding and inspiration to achieve a certain pre-established goal. The Coach is there as a partner who listens, asks powerful questions, probes new perspectives, offers tools to shift perspectives, engages in deep reflection to take his or her client through the journey of transformation. 

The way of the Coach is not to dictate answers or impose his or her opinion about how to go about the process. Rather, the role of the Coach is to work with the client to source answers and strategies that are already within the client’s realm of being. As a midwife is there to support mothers birth the new baby; so is the coach there to support the client in bringing to this world the ideas and dreams that have been conceived within. 

Some individuals are naturally gifted to be coaches and often such individuals do just that in their lives, with or without formally calling themselves coaches. I had the privilege of being under the tutelage of one such great individual, my Grandmother, Lady Almaz Haile-Mariam. Although my coaching competence has been complemented by formal training through my Doctoral Research on Transformation and Change in Human Systems as well as the ICA program and the two year program on Integral Approach with Pacific Integral; I have to say that my core ways of coaching come from what I have learned from watching my Grandmother in action as she coached hundreds of people achieve their dreams. She never judged. She always listened. She always believed in the higher self of all being around her, both humans and non-humans. She always gave her full attention when people came asking for her “coaching” (they would not say coaching, but ask for time to talk). Most of all, she gave her heart and welcomed all as they were fully respecting their dreams and aspirations.

The biggest learning and take away from my Grandmother is that when we coach, we have to be “believers”. Believers in possibility, believers in dreams, believers in human potential and believers in greatness. My Grandmother comes from a lineage of ancient Sages. What I have learned from her, was passed on to her generations back.

And although initially, I had thought I had just learned lessons of life; today I know that what I was offered so generously and what I have learned is much more than that.

May I call it Wisdom, Love, Trust, Peace, Giving, Discipline, Respect, Patience, Tolerance, Harmony…..the list would be too long. So, let’s just say that what I have learned was working and living with Big Heart on the driver’s seat and Witness on the co-pilot seat.

Living with my heart forth and at the same time, being detached enough to be able to witness the unfolding. In my coaching, my commitment is to support my clients in working with Big Heart and knowing how to be a Witness of it all, while at the same time, work is done on this earth in a very concrete and tangible way.