Let’s try and see more clearly at what coaching really is. I had the idea for this article after seeing a lot of misinformation floating around on the Internet about the subject so I will try in here to dispel any false notions and define what coaching really is. First, coaching is not a new or newish trend, it is in fact a practice dating back thousand of years. In my opinion coaching relies on the following principles: the art of questioning, active listening, positive feedback and awareness. Coaching is a team effort to help people or groups reach their true potential and goals.
Of course you cannot try to define coaching without defining the functions of the coach. A coach facilitates learning through actions that are designed to acquire know-how and works with people or organizations to steer them towards their desired objectives. A coach is a professional who strives to give new skills to the person it coaches and give them more confidence in their actions while holding them accountable for results.
The differences between a coach and a psychologist are as follows: a coach deals with issues in the here and now with an eye towards the future. The coach doesn’t work in the past like a psychologist could do and is not looking for the root causes of behavior patterns and such.
Does the coach uses weird methods to achieve his goal? Absolutely not. Respect towards his client his one of the corner stones of the coaching practice. Clients are in no way guinea pig to a coach, the coach has to follow a strict code of conduct. Here are a few tips to make sure you chose a good coach who will be able to help you reach the goals you have set for yourself: he has to have received a coaching training recognized by a reputable coaching federation, he possesses an other field of expertise in which he excels, he is part of a professional coaching federation, he keeps on learning more about the field and receiving on going training, he was manager at one point in his career…These are but a few of th qualities a coach must possess to be able to really impact the life of its client in a positive way. Setting aside professional qualifications for a minute, it is also important to remember that first and foremost you need to feel at ease with your coach. No matter how qualified, if personal contact and a trusting relationship cannot be established than the coaching process is bound to fail.