Leadership Coaching  |  Leadership & Talent Development  |  Team Development .

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What is coaching

Coaching is about development!  The International Coaching Federation (ICF) describes coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."

Until recently, there has been a stigma associated with coaching.  In the past coaching was viewed as a negative intervention by some, where it was viewed as a sign of personal weakness.  This was especially true at the senior levels in organizations.

Today coaching is viewed as less threatening on a personal level and is typically woven into the fabric of leadership development.  For example, some organizations use coaching in a proactive way, pursuing a strategy described as a coaching culture for talent development purposes.  Organizations also proactively use coaching to help the newly promoted manager learn new skills and values in order to succeed in their transition to a higher level position.  Here it's important to recognize that there are different levels of leadership required as one moves up through the organization.

​The idea of proactively using a coach in today's highly competitive global business world is not different from what we see in today's highly competitive global sports world where it's typical to see a professional athlete with his or personal coach.  In golf and tennis, for example, a player may be working with two or three coaches on a variety of developmental needs:  developing technical skills, developing physical skills, and developing mental or emotional skills.  To extend this analogy even further...as one progresses from player - to coach - to general manager - the idea of being proactive in using a coach to learn new skills becomes critical to one's success.

What Coaching Is Not

Because coaching is a term that gets overused by many, it's important to recognize and understand that coaching is not:

​1.     Therapy / Counseling

2.     Consulting

3.     Mentoring

Each of these interventions represent important options for people and organizations.  Certified coaches understand the difference between coaching and these options - and are able to separate and manage their application in the course of working with a client.