FAQs on Coaching

All About Coaching

This page of our website is created with an intent of educating the viewers on various aspects of coaching.

What is Coaching?

Definition of Coaching

Definition of coaching

Coaching is a very powerful tool of communication. When used effectively and appropriately, it raises your awareness; it’s like a laser on your thinking that cuts through a maze of confusion and brings forth, hitherto, unknown ideas and options. The bottom line is that coaching is about being a catalyst for positive change in a way that’s appropriate for individuals, helping them to be the very best they can be- which has a knock-on effect for organizations, on teams and organizational performance.

Coaching is not telling someone what to do; it’s not giving advice or providing solutions. It is not the same as mentoring, training or consulting.

Coaching has been defined by various authorities in different ways. Here are some definitions of coaching:

Helping successful leaders achieve positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams.
Marshal Goldsmith

Unlocking a person’s potential to maximize his or her own performance.
Sir John Whitmore

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe 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

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.
ICF Definition of coaching (from ICF website- coachfederation.org)

The definition of coaching is simply that it is an interactive, results-oriented, enlightening process that brings about change.
IAPCM Definition of coaching

Who is a Coach?

This word has often been used in many fields in many different ways leading to lots of confusion.
We are answering this question from the perspective of a professional coach as the term has come to be used in management and business space.

Imagine having the support of someone who champions your success as much as you do, someone who will ask great questions to encourage you to tap into your own well of resources, to find the solutions you didn’t know you had; someone who will challenge you to expand your horizons and see things from different perspectives and viewpoints.

A coach is this someone and a lot more.

Another way to define can be-
coach is a professional trained in Coaching skills and ethics as provisioned by an internationally acclaimed governing bodies like ICF (International Coach Federation). He/She helps you to identify your goals and develop an actionable plan to achieve them. A coach follows a systematic coaching approach to assist you to maximize your full potential and reach your desired results. You can choose to work with a coach on both professional and personal fronts.

How is coaching delivered.

Coaching specialists can deliver coaching in person (face to face) or through some online platform.

Coaching can be delivered both to individuals on one-to-one basis as well as to groups.
ICF considers coaching 2-15 people together as group coaching.

What are the key qualities of a great coach?

Ability to Build Rapport, Deep Listener, Non- Judgmental, Neutral, Powerful Questioning, Service Orientation. A great coach will exhibit ICF core coaching competencies and abide by ICF ethics and code of conduct.

How is coaching different from Mentoring, Training and Consulting.

Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change.

  • Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.
  • Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
  • Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.

Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.

What is a coaching engagement?

Coaching engagement is a formal agreement between a coach and a client to work together for specific time period towards achieving client’s set goals.
Put in simple words, when a coach interacts with the coachee for an hour or so it is called a coaching session and a series of coaching sessions conducted periodically over a period of 6-12 months is called a coaching engagement.

Typically, coaching engagements involves agreeing on the agenda for the coaching sessions, number of coaching sessions, roles and responsibilities of the coach, assessment criteria to measure the success of the engagement and various logistics involved.

Can coaching be done face to face only or can it be done on skype or phone?

Coaching sessions can be done face to face or on skype, google hangout, on phone or any other online platform as mutually agreed by the coach and the client.