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What is Coaching?


What Is Coaching?

A coach's job is to focus, nudge, question, awaken, challenge, cheer, support, encourage and motivate people so that they can claim the life they want to live.

"If we did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves." — Thomas A. Edison

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as an ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.

In each meeting, the client chooses the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client into action. Coaching accelerates the clients' progress by providing greater focus, revealing blind spots and creating awareness of choice. People hire a coach when they are starting a new business, making a career transition, re-evaluating their life choices, feel out of balance or simply feeling ready for a personal or professional breakthrough.

winding road photo web.jpgCoaching concentrates on getting clients from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow.

The key concept of personal coaching is the individual attention that the coach gives the client. Together they may focus on long or short-term goals or work to get through a particularly difficult life transition.

Many highly successful people hire a coach with the goal of gaining the extra edge that they need to attain success in a competitive world. They realize that they and their careers are worth the investment that will help them to be their best. As time goes by they often find that not only do their careers thrive with coaching, but their personal lives become better balanced, and they discover a deeper and more satisfying level of fulfillment.

Beyond the business world, people hire a coach if they want support to make change in their lives whether it be creating a healthier balance, increasing fulfillment in life, defining goals and values or just looking out at the horizon. Imagine the possibilities if you regularly stopped to focus on what you wanted in life, created a plan to get it and had the support and encouragement to do it.

Creating an extraordinary life takes intention, focus, disciplined action...and support.

What Coaching Is Not:

There is often confusion between coaching, counseling, consulting and mentoring; it's important to understand the distinctions between these four unique approaches.

Each approach is highly valuable and worthwhile. While they all may have some common threads each one addresses a different need.

How is coaching different than counseling or therapy?

Counseling, or therapy, often looks to the past in order to discover, heal and understand. Coaching, on the other hand, looks to the future in order to make a good life even better. In coaching, the starting point is the client's desire for personal and professional success. Coaching focuses on forwarding all aspects of the client's life to extraordinary. Coaching is not about how you came to be who you are; it's about getting you from where you are now to a future that you want.

How is coaching different than consulting?

A consultant is an expert who dispenses advice and has answers. The consultant holds the agenda, imparts knowledge and offers suggestions to improve effectiveness and increase success. Coaching sees the client as creative, capable, intelligent, and having answers within themselves or the resources to find them. Coaches act on the premise that the definitive expert regarding your life and work is you.

How is coaching different than mentoring?

A mentor often has many more years of experience than the person being supported. Mentoring is akin to role-modeling where the client see attributes, qualities or abilities in the mentor that he/she wishes to learn or emulate. Coaching is a partnering of two equals which focuses on the unique and intrinsic qualities already within the client that may not be recognized or appreciated. The coach helps the client affirm and embrace their own true self.

Corporations  Coaching is used by many corporations to create a unified vision, better team collaboration, office harmony and life balance for their executives. In turn, this investment contributes to the company's bottom line as the success of the employee is the success of the company.