Coaching is defined as “enabling another’s success and progress by helping them achieve desired growth.” Coaching involves creating a trusting two-way partnership that helps an individual achieve their targets.
Self-awareness is the understanding of one’s own personality, biases and individuality. One can develop self-awareness at various levels: be aware of your physical sensation, feelings and emotional reactions, and your mental processes such as thoughts, interpretations, beliefs, values and assumptions.
Your effectiveness as a coach depends on your experiences, what you think of value, what assumptions you make about people, how you interpret events, or how you believe people, life or work “ought to be” and you must have sufficient self-awareness to recognize difference between you and the people you coach.
For example, imagine you have an unsatisfactory coaching relationship. Is you want to change that, you can try to change your behavior and that might help somewhat. To have a long-lasting and significant improvement, you should examine who you tend to be in that coaching relationship and perhaps change you beliefs or thoughts or assumptions about the person you are coaching or about the situation.
Being aware helps, you understand what motivates your behaviors. This will help you recognize your own biases and be more open to other people’s perspective. As you become open to your own reactions, it will be easier for your o develop empathy for someone else, and collaborate with them to explore or resolve issues.
What are the Attitudes for Awareness?
- Openness – Show openness to your own experience and a willingness to share this in a genuine way with others. Think about how often you withhold sharing your perspective because you don’t want to offend someone. Openness and self-disclosure can build trust in a coaching relationship.
- Introspection – It is good to be able to take time to explore who you are. Don’t look in this as being self-indulgent. Rather, it can help you understand what is important to you in your work and relationship.
- Understand that people have values and attitude regarding their work and personal lives, which significantly affect their performance, motivation, expectation and work relationship. Because people are different, their values and attitude will be different too. The people you coach may be quite different from you. Recognize and accept this to be a more effective coach.
- Genuine Interest – Be fascinated with the people you interact with. Spend time with those who have different mindset or different ideas from your own. This may help you know yourself better and be more accepting of others’ differences.
What are the Behaviors needed for Developing Self-Awareness
- Paying attention to personal reaction – Pay attention to your personal reactions “in the moment” (feelings, thoughts, judgments, biases, etc.) and monitor your own emotional state.
- Question you own values, assumptions and reaction – Ask yourself, “How accurate am I in my interpretations? How do my interpretations differ from others?
- Engage in self-disclosure – Articulate personal reactions through authentic and relevant self-disclosure (feelings, thoughts, judgments, biases, etc.). Share relevant personal stories or examples (self-disclosure) in a way that helps the other individual and does not shift the attention inappropriately from them. Share what you feel with others… “Here’s what I felt/experienced”.
- Accept and reflect on feedback – Accept and reflect on feedback from others regarding personal attitude and performance.