Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training, advice and guidance. The learner is sometimes called a coachee. Occasionally, coaching may mean an informal relationship between two people, of whom one has more experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the latter learns; but coaching differs from mentoring in focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to general goals or overall development.
Who is a Coach?
A Coach is not a problem solver and does not offer any solution to the problems faced by their clients. A Coach allows coachee to tap into their own self and open all possibilities to find out the lasting answers they were unable to latch on. A Coach works with his/her coachee to offer a fresh perspective to the current situation they are in. They listen to the problems without prejudice and offer a different outlook to the situation.
International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching …
“…as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honour the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.”
Professional coaching uses a range of communication skills to help clients shift their perspectives and thereby discover different approaches to achieve their goals. Coaching is a form of “meta-profession” that can apply to supporting clients in any human endeavour, ranging from their concerns in health, personal, professional, sport, social, family, political, spiritual dimensions, etc.