What is Coaching?
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires a person to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.
You might think of coaching like going on a road trip with a supportive passenger riding along with you. You are in control of the car and where it’s going – the same way you’re in control of your life, your destiny, your decisions, your future. As you drive, your coach accompanies you, assisting you on your journey to reach your destination.
When you partner with a coach, you are in the driver’s seat. Your coach provides support for accountability and self-awareness and helps you gain new perspectives. Coaches ask questions not to get an answer they desire, but to encourage you in meaningful exploration that can help you reach a new level of depth and performance.
What Coaching is NOT
Coaching is not the same thing as mentoring or therapy. A mentor provides subject matter expertise, wisdom and guidance based on their own experiences. Therapy deals with healing pain, trauma, dysfunction or conflict of some kind, typically with the goal of resolving difficulties that impair an individual’s emotional health and psychological functioning.
By contrast, coaching focuses on facilitating individuals or groups to draw upon their own experiences and capabilities to set and reach their own objectives. The coach is the expert in the coaching process, but you are the expert on your life journey.