Having had the privilege to be involved with coaching for the last 20 years, I would say that coaching has everything to do with growth.
In fact, coaching is growth itself.
What is growth? Growth is about taking somebody past their mental, physical or psychological limitations.
When someone questions what they are happy about, they usually don’t question the things that they are already certain of. Instead they tend to question what is on the edge of what they are certain of. Take a question like, “How can I get a better job?”. This shows that the person is starting to feel that they have something bigger to offer and to contribute towards. Perhaps what is missing is the vehicle for them to get to that point where they can express their talents or their passion, or both.
When they begin this process of questioning, they are starting a process of dismantling whatever frameworks or limitations they have in their current career — or whatever it is they are doing — to begin to pursue something that’s got a lot more to do with who they really are.
The 3 fundamental aspects of what makes a human being are that they are made of their:
1) Intellect or their mind
2) Passions or their Emotions, and
3) Physicality or their actions and the consequences of their acts.
If you take a look at what coaching is about, we’re looking at whether a person is passionate about a new career, that activates their emotions and their feelings, and what they are really passionate about.
1) By engaging people in the intellectual process or the coaching conversation, we are beginning to get them to link their emotions with a logical framework.
This logical framework allows them to put into a flow what is it that they feel, into something which they can then take away and bring into their lives and execute, and thereby begin to take the actions necessary to expand what is in their lives, such that whatever they think and whatever they feel begins to coincide with what they do. It begins to accumulate a result that allows them to expand in that area.
This is just one example of how many clients use their career as a launchpad for their personal growth. As they grow into something that matters more to them, they’re going to start looking at other aspects of their life, which may not have had the same amount of consideration that this area has. For example, when they start questioning their relationships, they often also start questioning the way their lifestyle, diet, bodies, philosophies, and so on. It begins to set forth an unprecedented level of growth that expands them.
2) Emotional growth is about connecting and understanding our emotions, which then allows us to be in control of them, rather than they be in control of us. This way, we won’t “lose it” when under pressure and can guide our emotions that assist us in life.
3) Physical growth doesn’t only refer to physical strength or endurance, though these can be expressions of it. It is about one’s ability to get things done, about being able to create and manifest things.
Any kind of personal development work has a lot to do with these 3 things. You’ll be surprised to find how many people seem to forget that it is a true alignment between the way they think, they way they feel, and the things they choose to do that creates that growth, because if we cannot act as an entirety as an organism, then we’re acting partially.
If it is just about intellectual growth, all we get are good ideas. But if it is never felt, if you never get passionate about it and you don’t put it into action, then it never manifests, it becomes merely a philosophy. Now, while that may be useful, it is only intellectual growth, and not personal growth because personal growth is about the growth of the entire person.
I’ve discovered that coaching is the best tool for creating personal growth. It addresses the 3 dimensions – it asks people to think really hard about it, it makes people choose about what matters to them, and it creates a framework around by which they can act.
Coaching is a lot more suitable for personal growth and mastery than many other forms. If you are really into personal growth and personal mastery, give coaching a shot.
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Kelvin Lim is Southeast Asia’s first Master Coach and the Founder and Principal Coach of Executive Coach International, the largest Coaching organisation in Singapore. A professional coach since 1997, Kelvin has worked with over 20,000 people in China, Singapore and Internationally. He is also one of the Executive Producers of the Coaching movie, the first-ever international film about Coaching.