What is coaching and why would you need a coach?
Coaching is a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.
Coaches work with people who want support in their jobs, their projects, or their personal development. They work with individuals and with teams who are looking for the best ways to get things done. A coaching partnership offers a confidential space to explore ideas, to solve problems, and to establish a realistic, clear plan of action to reach desired outcomes.
Coaching comes from the sport experience, particularly from studies by Timothy Gallwey (tennis coach) and John Whitmore in the 80s, regarding the performance of athletes. Whitmore and Gallwey question was: why, with the same technical and physical skills, always the same athletes are winning?
Their studies showed that the difference was in what they called "inner game": the inner game of the athlete, based on his/her thoughts and on how they would positively or negatively influence their performance.
Coaching is an accelerator of the progress of the client, through a process that provides greater focus and awareness of choice.
Coaching focuses where clients are now and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future.
The benefits of professional coaching are numerous--fresh perspectives on challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out chosen work and life roles.
WHAT DOES A COACH DO?
A coach focuses where clients are now and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future.
The ICF Credentialed coach recognizes that results are due to the intentions, choices and actions of the client, supported by the coach's efforts and by the application of the coaching process. ICF coaching honors the client as the expert in his/her life and his/her work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful and whole.
The coach's responsibility is to:
• discover, clarify and align what the client wants to achieve
• encourage the client in their exploration through questions
• elicit solutions and strategies generated by the client
• keep the client responsible
Among the key skills of a good coach, according to ICF standards, there’s the ability to build trust and closeness to the client and active listening. The coach has the ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client's wishes, and to support client self-expression.
Through the use of powerful questions and direct communication, the coach has the ability to help the client to achieve awareness, to design new actions to be done, that will most effectively lead to the fixed coaching results.
A coaching program develops through a series of sessions. During the first meeting the client sets the ultimate goal that he/she wants to achieve and the criteria by which progress will be measured.
During each session, the client, accompanied by the coach, establishes intermediate targets in the direction of the ultimate goal and he/she will design the actions to achieve them.
The coach will use his techniques to foster the development of this process.
The coach is responsible for the development of the process, but leaves the responsibility of the contents to his client, since the client will define his/her own goals, will develop his/her own strategies and will establish the actions.
It should be noted that coaching is a discipline based on the development of skills in order to achieve future goals.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED A COACH?
To gain access to new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions.
To develop decision-making skills.
To find a new cognitive and behavioral strategy.
To become aware of your potential.
To achieve personal and professional goals with effective guidance to the commitment, results and solutions.
We can only change what we are aware of.
The coach is future oriented, coaching trains the client to work on the area of development, leading him/her to become, individually and through full responsibility of the use of its resources, the champion of his life.
What is the difference between a coach and other professionals as consultants, mentors and counselors?
• The consultant is an expert on a certain subject, makes analysis and suggests solutions to be applied to a
• The mentor is an expert who accompany a person, so that he/she acquires skills through imitation and
• The counselor is a professional who works to solve a person's psychological distress.
• The coach does NOT transfer knowledge, most of the times it is not even competent in the matters dealt
with in the coaching process, and most importantly does NOT deal with psychological discomfort. The
coach helps the client to focus on the goals he/she wants to achieve, stimulates he/she to develop new
skills, gain new awareness, plan actions and track progress towards the final result.
Professional coaching brings many wonderful benefits: fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence.