What Is Coaching?

Coaching Definitions from the ICF (International Coach Federation):

  • Coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
  • A professional coaching relationship: A professional coaching relationship exists when coaching includes a business agreement or contract that defines the responsibilities of each party.

Source:  http://www.coachfederation.org/about/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=854&navItemNumber=634

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a prevalent buzz word today, and coaching professionals continue to emerge as a popular option for those seeking to gain improvements in their lives in lieu of – or in addition to – traditional therapeutic methods and models.  All of this begs the question, “What is coaching?”  This can be useful information for anyone seeking to hire a life coach.

As the definition from the International Coach Federation states above, coaching is a partnership with a client.  It is a relationship that fosters an environment of creativity and accountability to inspire clients to achieve the goals, dreams, aspirations, and balance that they have for any and all areas of their lives.

Unlike other traditional “helping” professions like psychotherapy, consulting, etc., coaches believe the clients can provide expertise and insights into their own lives.  Coaches can help clients with strategic planning, the pros and cons of various decisions and choices, and can help a client set and adjust goals.  Coaches can also be an important source of accountability for the clients.

Good coaches communicate directly, intuitively, and with clarity.  Coaches assume their clients are competent, capable, creative, resourceful, and that they are willing to take appropriate risks and make necessary changes in their lives to achieve their dreams and visions!

What Coaching is Not?

One of the most important things to realize is that coaching is not therapy.  Coaching does not involve diagnosis, recovery, treatment plans, or traditional therapy models. Psychiatry, psychotherapy, and other similar helping professions are often necessary (and very excellent) options for generating personal discovery, recovery, and growth; however, these professions are not coaching, and coaches approach the “client” relationship much differently than practitioners in other helping professions do.