On Coaching

Dr Atul Gawande

Very often, in explaining what I do, I need to clarify what Coaching is.

People who sell New Agey mumbo jumbo by calling themselves Coaches do not help.

I tried to set the record straight in this post, where I state that Coaching is simply a purposeful conversation designed to help clients improve their performances and move forward with their life/career.

Now, Atul Gawande, in a recently published article in the New Yorker, talks about Coaching and makes the same point – only better, and from the perspective of a Client: “no matter how well trained people are, few can sustain their best performance on their own. That’s where Coaching comes in.”

Granted, he is not talking about Solution-Focused Coaching but about what I called Behavioral Coaching in the above mentioned post.

Still, the article clearly defines what Coaching is, and it is a very interesting read.

This quote from the article should be framed and put in any office where Coaching is delivered:

“The sort of coaching that fosters effective innovation and judgment, not merely the replication of technique, may not be so easy to cultivate. Yet modern society increasingly depends on ordinary people taking responsibility for doing extraordinary things: operating inside people’s bodies, teaching eighth graders algebraic concepts that Euclid would have struggled with, building a highway through a mountain, constructing a wireless computer network across a state, running a factory, reducing a city’s crime rate. In the absence of guidance, how many people can do such complex tasks at the level we require? With a diploma, a few will achieve sustained mastery; with a good coach, many could. We treat guidance for professionals as a luxury—you can guess what gets cut first when school-district budgets are slashed. But coaching may prove essential to the success of modern society.

There was a moment in sports when employing a coach was unimaginable—and then came a time when not doing so was unimaginable. We care about results in sports, and if we care half as much about results in schools and in hospitals we may reach the same conclusion.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande#ixzz1ZvPXXuJD

Note: I already posted about Atul Gawande, specifically about his Checklist Manifesto book, here: http://www.briefcoachingsolutions.com/checklists-solution-focused-coaching/