What is Coaching?

At Animas, we define coaching this way:

“Coaching is a collaborative, non-directive conversation that brings about change through deep inquiry, reflection, discovery, choice and new behaviours.”

Or less technically:

Coaching is a response to the age-old question: “How do I live a meaningful life?”

Coaching happens within a relationship between a coach and their client, with both parties working to explore an area, or work toward an outcome for the client. The outcome may be anything from a specific and tangible goal, to exploring why they experience the world as they do. The possible applications of coaching are countless, and the core principles and qualities of coaching make it uniquely powerful as a tool for inquiry and change.

Coaching can take many different forms and arrangements. Coaches vary in how they work (for example in person, on Skype; For six defined sessions, or an open-ended process) who they work with, and the sorts of approach, issue or area they might specialise in. (See the philosophical and psychological foundation to our coach training).

For us, coaching is an empowering, exploratory and collaborative conversation. The transformative life coaching that we teach at Animas enables us to identify and explore the bigger questions we all face that often sit behind immediate challenges. For example, we might ask ourselves ‘Which job should I take?’ The decisions we make on every-day issues are usually informed by (often unconscious) answers to bigger questions which can benefit from attention and exploration, such as: ‘What do I want to do with my life?’, ‘What are my priorities at the moment?’ and ‘What are my values?’ Coaching can help to notice the foundational ideas and unanswered questions, and explore the beliefs, values and assumptions that drive our experience, decision-making, behaviour and results.

Animas’ transformative coaching approach allows us to coach at this deeper level. The change that transformative coaching brings about can be longer-lasting and further reaching than is possible at the performance or developmental level. It brings about change not only in the realm of tangible results, but also in the client’s understanding of their own worldview, experience of themselves, and of life.