Coaching is a conversation directed at creating new futures (vs. solving problems). The roots of the word conversation mean “changing together.” A coaching conversation takes place on many levels, beyond language, including “e-motion,” (what moves us or pushes us into action). It is very intentional, directed at unlocking potential for maximum performance in actions, outcomes and in the experience of life itself. It is a focused process with a positive, far-reaching impact that can last a lifetime.
Coaching is a partnership, embodying respect, safety and challenge. It reveals, adds clarity, breaks through barriers and accesses both personal power and wisdom. Through coaching, clients develop breakthrough thinking, transforming new insights into goal-directed plans for action. From a place of clarity, perspective and purpose they are moved to fulfill on the vision they have for the future with a newfound sense of confidence.
Coaching has the power to unleash human potential at all levels of performance. It can be done one-on-one or within a group, capturing the wisdom, diversity, richness and synergy of many individuals with a common purpose of transcending their status quo. In the context of organizations and other entities, coaching can shift cultures and create a space for innovation and increased productivity.
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering 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, believing that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client, based on the premise that the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.