What is Coaching?
Coaching is helping to identify the skills and capabilities that are within the person, and enabling them to use them to the best of their ability and by that increasing the independence within the individual and reducing reliance.
Instructing, coaching and mentoring differ. Instructors disseminate knowledge. Coaches help clients build skills. Mentors shape mental attitudes. Alternately, instructors train to immediate tasks, coaches accompany achievements, and mentors provide whole-life shaping.
There are many definitions of coaching, mentoring and various styles of line management and training. The position is complicated by the perceived overlapping between many of these activities. A more succinct definition positions coaching as follows:
Managing is making sure people do what they know how to do.
Training is teaching people to do what they don’t know how to do.
Mentoring is showing people how the people who are really good at doing something do it.
Coaching rests on the professional use of a specific range of linguistic skills such as targeted restatements and the limited and judicious use of powerful questions with the aim to help clients shift their perspectives on an issue or ambition, and thereby discover different solutions and options, in order to achieve their goals. These linguistic skills are indifferently used when coaching clients in any field. In this sense, coaching is a form of meta-profession that can apply to accompanying clients in any human endeavor, ranging from their concerns in sports and personal, professional, social, family, political, spiritual dimensions, etc.
Personal coaching is a process which is designed and defined in a relationship agreement between a client and a coach. It is based on the client’s expressed interests, goals and objectives.
A professional coach may use inquiry, reflection, requests and discussion to help clients identify personal and/or business and/or relationship goals, develop strategies, relationships and action plans intended to achieve those goals. A coach provides a place for clients to be held accountable to themselves by monitoring the clients’ progress towards implementation of their action plans. Together they evolve and modify the plan to best suit the client’s needs and environmental relationships. Coaches often act as human mirrors for clients by sharing outside and unbiased perspectives. Coaches may teach specific insights and skills to empower the client toward their goals.
Clients are responsible for their own achievements and success. The client takes action, and the coach may assist, but never leads or does more than the client. Therefore, a coach cannot and does not promise that a client will take any specific action or attain specific goals. Professional coaching is not counselling, therapy or consulting. These different skill sets and approaches to change may be adjunct skills and professions.