The coaching mindset: how to help people grow and achieve goals

14 May 2020 | Learn & Grow | by Nina Vöge

The coaching mindset: how to help people grow and achieve goals

Imagine you’re going on a hike. You don’t know exactly where this journey will take you. You start your journey on a gravel path but soon find it too easy. So, you decide to take a sharp turn up a new path at more of an incline and a few visible boulders. It’s more difficult and you don’t know if it leads anywhere. You might question your decision, maybe you even fear going forward.

You continue onward, overcoming challenging boulders or obstacles in your way. After a few hours of hiking, questioning, and motivating yourself to keep going you eventually reach the top of the mountain. Looking around and appreciating what you’ve achieved, you can spot in the distance another mountain you imagine hiking up next.

Well, that’s actually not just a story about hiking but a pretty precise description of what a coaching journey can feel like. Are you interested in finding out what coaching is and what positive impact developing a coaching mindset can have for you? Then keep on reading.

What is coaching?

More importantly, the question should be: what is it not?

It is not mentoring – because unlike coaches, mentors provide advice and solutions and suggest what they think you should do.
It is not training – because unlike a coach, a trainer has a learning goal that they establish and a fixed set of content they teach in order to achieve that goal.
It is not counseling – because unlike coaching, counseling focuses on past issues and ends in the present.

When people are asked about what coaching is, sometimes myths get mixed up with facts. Let’s try this one for instance: “Coaches do not give advice to their clients.” What do you think?

The comfort zone

Leaving your comfort zone can lead to growth, given the right tools. Source: @thewealthhike

Well, yes. They actually tend to not give advice. Here’s why:

In coaching, it is believed that the person being coached (coachee) has the potential and the answers to achieve their own goals. It is also believed that the coachee is responsible for their own growth. So instead of jumping in with great advice, the coach will rather use a range of skills to support their coachee in shifting perspectives, gaining new learnings and discovering different approaches to achieve the coachee’s goals.

Alright, have another go: “Coaching is most effective when you get to the core of emotions.” Any thoughts? No? Yes?

Correct, this one is also a fact. Let’s find out why:

When coaching someone, ideally the person being coached is pushed out of their comfort zone and through to their growth zone towards their self-set goal. Along the way, the person will be confronted with emotions that will either hinder or catapult their growth.

Understanding underlying emotions can help to gain a deeper motivation towards achieving that growth. Someone’s emotional response to a question might be something like not answering the question or answering a completely unrelated thing, responding “I don’t know”, giggling, and so on. While experiencing going through the fear zone is normal and necessary, the coach aims to push the coachee further, enabling them to gain a deeper self-awareness which can drive growth in all areas.

The hard facts: Coaching and its impact

Whilst coaching is scientifically found to inspire individuals to maximize their personal and professional potential, numerous studies have proven that it also has a measurable positive impact on teams as well as on the strategic objectives of organizations and business results. One of the biggest global certifying bodies in coaching, the International Coaching Federation – or in short ICF – found in their global coaching client study* that 86% of companies who invest in coaching experience a positive ROI. This is demonstrated in significantly increased productivity, performance, greater employee engagement, and motivation.

Why not try it yourself? How to use basic coaching tools in your day to day life

It will be hard but start by taking a step back and avoid giving your own opinion straight away. Instead, when someone confronts you with a problem, try the following:

  • Actively listen to what they are actually telling you – and listen to what they are maybe not saying.
  • Ask clarifying questions to explore together what lies at the core of the problem.
  • Keep resisting the urge to share your solution. Instead, spark growth in your conversation partner by asking powerful questions that lead them to their own solution. The question becomes powerful in the moment that it provokes new thoughts, leads to a deeper or broader understanding of a subject or a new perspective. Remember, you can recognize a question is powerful by the emotional response.
  • Last but not least: allow for silence after having asked a question. You’ll be surprised how great your conversation partner is in finding a solution themselves.

What coaching initiatives does Delivery Hero offer?

At Delivery Hero, employees and teams can get coached by members of the Talent Development team and make use of our coaching guides for managers & employees. We’ve also just piloted a training for managers called Coaching for Performance & Development that we’re planning to roll-out globally in 2020. Moreover, we’re looking into some other great initiatives such as widening our internal and external coaching community and offering online coaching opportunities.

*ICF Global Coaching Client Study, 2009

About the author


Nina Voge, Delivery Hero
Nina Vöge

Specialist, Talent Development
Delivery Hero