Dec 7, 2018
Here at JMJ, we often talk about the benefits of coaching to the individual, teams and the organization. Usually, though, little or no consideration is given to what a Coach/Mentor gains from Coaching or Mentoring.
Is it just a selfless act? Is it a 'want' to help and share with others?
Or is it something else?
If you are a Team Manager, the reason for coaching may be more obvious: helping to improve performance. Coaches may also see coaching as a way to connect others to a personal stand, commitment or purpose enabling the enrollment of others.
But what about other scenarios?
Here is what three professional Executive Coaches had to say:
“My personal thoughts are that a coach/mentor gains a great deal from their client. I learn more about my style as a coach, build skills and knowledge from flexing my approach to meet the needs of my clients. There is huge satisfaction in watching somebody develop and achieve their goals as well as the privilege of working closely with talented individuals.”
“I would say ... what I get from coaching is being able to support front line staff to deal with their high pressure roles.”
“I believe it is about the Gandhi quote, 'There is no other question in life except what are you doing for others.' What this means for me, is that whilst coaching has an element of altruism, it is also about what makes me feel connected to my core values, which are about supporting other people to be the best they can be, as well as developing my own self insight.”
In addition, we asked some of JMJ’s coaches, and their responses included:
Looking from the Integral Approach (an approach that informs JMJ's work), there may be other clues to why people coach.
The Integral Approach suggests that individuals usually start out in life largely self-absorbed in the ‘me'. This is referred to as Egocentric.
We then begin to learn culture's rules and norms, becoming concerned about the tribe, group, clan or nation and interested in ‘us'. This is referred to as Ethnocentric.
The next stage in development is called World Centric. This is about ‘all of us’. An individual's identity expands this time to include care and concern for all peoples.
I believe that individuals that coach do so because they are at the World Centric stage of their own personal development.
From a neurological point of view, feeling good involves the release of serotonin and oxytocin which are neurotransmitters. Serotonin is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. It is also involved in the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep. It has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. Oxytocin is involved in social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors. Higher levels of oxytocin are involved in how we relate to others and our feeling of connectedness.
So, not only does the coaching help others and make better teams, but it's good for the well-being of the coach, too.