If you are looking for an answer to the question “What is coaching?”, this coaching 101 post is going to give you an introduction to the topic: coaching, also called personal training, is a personal and professional development tool for individuals and teams. Though there are many different coaching types, coaching is divided into to main areas: life coaching and professional coaching.
In either case, during individual coaching processes the client works together with a coach for a series of sessions to achieve specific goals that are agreed on at the beginning of the coaching relationship. According to the official definition of “What is coaching?” by the International Coach Federation (ICF), coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.
Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potentialICF
What is coaching? And how does it help?
Coaching offers a good development tool to achieve challenging goals at important stages of your professional and personal life. As an example, a coach can help you redefine your career or life, help you improve your skill set, overcome obstacles, help you clarify and take difficult decisions, and grow as a leader, professional and person developing deep self-knowledge and self-awareness.A standard coaching process goes through three phases to reach your goals:
- Stop, raise awareness and develop consciousness
- Take conscious decisions
- Put decisions into action
In interactive conversations, you will dive for answers to some fundamental questions related to your goals during the first stage of the coaching process: as examples, you might face questions such as What do you really want?, what are your most important personal values?, what unconscious processes impede your attempts to achieve your goal? or which beliefs and behaviors detract you from getting where you want to go?.
With a new self-consciousness in place, coachee – this is what coaching clients are called – and coach explore different options to achieve desired outcomes. As a final step, the coaching helps the client to chose the preferred alternative and take corresponding actions to make this alternative happen.
According to an ICF survey among 27.000 respondents from 2017, coaching especially helps participants increase self-esteem, improve communication skills, increase productivity, optimize individual and team performance, and improve work/life balance.