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What is Coaching?

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines it as partnering with individuals in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The Coach assists the individual to bridge the gap between their current situation and the desired outcomes through conversations and dialogue.

The Coach serves the individual -known as Coachee or Client to have forward movement in their lives, career, jobs, new endeavors, relationships, marriage, parenting, and business by setting goals and finding the best ways to achieve them. Usually, the client has a story and needs a sounding board to see beyond because the client is stuck with a story. Through reflective thinking and the curiosity of the Coach to explore and bring into the light what is causing the story to be attached. Time and space to explore help the Coachee see themselves and the world differently. As part of the process, the Coach implements the core competencies established by the International Coaching Federation, which regulates the profession. During the process, the competencies serve as guidelines for the interaction.

I invite you to explore the differences between this Coaching discipline and others like Counseling, Consulting, and Mentoring. The graphic below will demonstrate the areas succinctly. It covers each of them regarding the commitment time, scopes of work, emphasis, and benefits. It provides an aerial view of their timeline during the work with clients if its focus is on the past, present, and future. I believe this information will assist you in making clear decisions.

• Coaching: Partner with the individual to assist in assessing the present situation and setting goals to improve their future and achieve them.

• Consulting: Provides expertise on how to solve specific problems. It involves the steps of diagnosis, recommending solutions, and the implementation of solutions if inquiry.

• Counseling: Helps to resolve matters from the past to be effective with present issues.

• Mentoring: Using their experience and knowledge to guide others.

Coaching and Distinctions with Helping Fields:

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