Coaching is a confidential, one-to-one conversation between a coach and coachee, where the coachee is supported to recognise and reach their full potential (personal or professional) by:

  • Exploring, challenging and gaining a deeper understanding of themselves
  • Identifying what aspects of themselves, their behaviours and their lives they would like to change or develop
  • Taking action to achieve the changes they want
  • Being given the tools and techniques they need to create the personal or professional life they want

There are many different styles of coaching which promote a variety of tools and techniques. These are used across a wide range of contexts for a wide range of purposes. This means that coaching can address a wide range of issues from weight loss to leadership development. The coach does not need to have any knowledge or expertise in the coachee’s professional or personal life as the techniques and tools used enable the coachee to be their own expert and find their own solutions.

The coach:

  • Creates a trusting, safe and supportive environment for the coachee to feel comfortable with honesty, challenge and exploration
  • Uses questioning techniques to facilitate the coachee’s thought processes in order to identify solutions and actions
  • Encourages a commitment to action and the development of lasting personal or professional growth & change
  • Maintains an unconditional positive regard for the coachee, which means that the coach is always supportive and non-judgemental of the coachee, their views, lifestyle and aspirations

Some definitions of coaching:

“Unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.  It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”  Whitmore, J. Coaching for Performance

“The art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another.” Downey, M Effective Coaching, Lessons from the Coach’s Coach

“Coaching is about enabling individuals to make conscious decisions and empowering them to become leaders in their own lives.”  Wise, K Karen Wise Consulting: The Blog, May 20 entry “What Is Coaching?”