Coaching has virtually no history and 20 or so years ago no one knew what coaching was. There have been people who have been coaching, but because they were not practicing standardized methods, the results were not always consistent. When I meet new people I still get asked, “what is coaching?”
What is coaching not?
I have written a separate article on that. In a nutshell, coaching is not about telling people what to do and is distinctly different from therapy, counselling and other professions. I wish I had a dollar for every time a client said, “That’s why you are my coach, I want you to tell me what to do.” I am sure you can relate to this if you have ever coached someone.
That being said, there is often a blending of the best of other professions and coaching. Coaches can work with clients in a variety of areas of their personal and professional lives.
The coaching process includes finding out the client’s values and beliefs, letting go of negative emotions and limiting decisions. Employing good listening and questioning skills. As well as helping the client to stay accountable for achieving their goals.
What does coaching do?
Coaching is a developmental ongoing interaction between coach and the client. It assists the client to develop their capabilities, achieve their goals and objectives and produce successful results.
The coach facilitates change through verbal and non-verbal communication (questions, reflections, explanations, metaphors, tasks, guiding focus, exercises, etc.) The coach promotes and supports the client’s growth, learning, professional development and personal benchmarks.
The coach creates and facilitates change, elicits, asks meaningful questions, motivates, creates insight, explains and tasks the client. The coach evokes, challenges, stimulates, supports and encourages the client’s self-expression.
In 1995, Thomas Leonard started the ICF for coaches to support each other and grow the coaching profession. The ICF have created Core Competencies and a Code of Ethics, which set a standard in the field of coaching. There is also an Ethical Conduct Review Process and Independent Review Board, which allows consumers to file complaints and if they believe that the ethics have been breached.
The ICF defines coaching as: “Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performance and enhance the quality of their lives.”
All successful people have coaches.
“To teach a man how he may learn to grow independently, and for himself, is perhaps the greatest service that one man can do to another.”
Benjamin Jowett, Vice Chancellor of Oxford University
“Every world champion has had a Coach”
Jay Conrad Levinson
In short, coaching is all about helping the client achieve the results they want in the area of life they want.