What’s Coaching? Search for the definition
Finding one just one definition for coaching seems like a difficult task. Many institutions that associate or train coaches use their own definitions of coaching, which often differ significantly. In addition, many activities that are not part of coaching are labeled that way. Training, workshops, conferences, motivational speeches or management methods may contain elements of coaching, although they have different purposes. In this article I will try to describe what literally coaching is as a service provided by a professional coach.
Below I will quote the definitions used in various organizations to which I refer to.
„Coaching is an interactive process that helps individuals or organizations accelerate their pace of development and improve their performance. Coach work with clients in areas related to business, career development, finance, health and interpersonal relations. Thanks to coaching, clients set more specific goals, optimize their activities, make better decisions and use their natural skills to their full potential.”
International Coach Federation definition
„Coaching is about helping people get what they want without doing it for them or telling them what to do.”
CoachWise ™ definition
I admit that none of these definitions were completely satisfying for me. I kept looking until a few weeks ago I found an author named Jenny Rogers and found in her excellent book “Manager as a coach”:
„Coaching is the art of helping another person learn, develop and act. It raises self-awareness and lets you see the choices you make. Thanks to coaching, people find their own solutions, develop skills and change attitudes and behavior. The goal of coaching is to bridge the gap between potential and action.”
We can take the definition a bit further and break it down, the following coaching properties can be emphasized:
- helps raise self-awareness
- helps learning new ways of doing things
- affects behavior, skills and attitude
- helps to recognize available choices
- helps discover your own solutions
- resulting in increased potential.
An important skill of coaching is distinguishing it from other forms of work with the client (e.g. training, therapy, mentoring, management, etc.) is the nature of the relationship between the coach and the client. In coaching, this relationship is partnership and assumes that the partners are equal.
Coaching assumes work based on a specific goal. The coach helps the client define this goal in such a way that he can achieve it and at the same time bring value to the client. Then the coach accompanies the client on their way to the goal, helps monitor progress and supports the client as difficulties arise.