What is Professional Coaching ?

What is Professional Coaching?

Professional Coaching is a form of coaching that occurs within the context of Life.  It focuses on unlocking a Persons Potential. Changing how they ‘think and feel’ as they transition through Life.  Coachees have a clearer idea of where  they are, who they are, and where they want to go, but most importantly how to get there.  Coaching helps to develop mental flexibility so that people deal with life’s challenges more easily.

Where does Professional Coaching come from?

Perhaps the most common example of ‘a Coach’ is that of the ‘Sports Coach’.  Most people can identify with this concept.  However, a ‘Sports Coach’ is usually someone who has expertise in the particular sport.  Prior experience and expertise is key in this example.  However, Coaching has moved on from its sports origin.  Coaching now focuses more on the psychological aspects to performance.  How people ‘think’ an ‘feel’ about their situation.

Coaching now  embraces concepts from Psychology.  It is now more about how people think, feel and perform.  It is about identifying psychological barriers to performance and freeing people from them.  We might therefore define Coaching as:

 ‘helping people learn in order to facilitate future performance’

The essence of Coaching had changed as it becomes more professional.  Today’s Coaches do not need to have experience in the “Coachee’s” problem area.  But they do need expertise helping people identify negative barriers and removing them.  In this way, Coaching is about helping people to ‘Unlock their Potential’. 

So, Coaching is very much about facilitating self learning.  Self learning for ‘Future Performance’.

Sounds a lot like Mentoring – isn’t it all the same?

Technically Mentoring is about using prior experience to help people learn for the future.  Mentor’s use their own experience teaching people improve their performance.  It is quite common however to find the meaning and words interchangeable.  But it is Important that a Coach can differentiate between the two disciplines.

How does Professional Coaching work?

Professional Coaching Sign Post
Professional Coaching Sign Post

Coaching can be used across a huge range of scenarios and contexts.  The types of coaching that are available can be confusing.  It is important that coaches use a  Model and Methodology.  As well as a defined process.  This can be useful in separating those coaches that are serious, against those that are not.  Coaches should be able to explain their coaching Model, Methodology and Process to their client.

Some people think that a coach has to have expertise in the area of the client, but, as I explained before coaching is about thinking and feeling, and can be conducted completely ‘context free’.

Professional Coaching then, can be described as:

 “A Professional relationship between the Coach and  the person being coached – the ‘coachee”, or‘a relationship where learning and development can take occur’.

Professional Coaching is used to Help people to:

  • Raise Emotional Awareness and Control
  • Identify where they are in the Coaching context
  • Find out more about themselves and what they want
  • Identify where they want to be in life
  • Set Goals and take Action on how to get there!

Professional Coaches use various tools and techniques.  This is done to help the coachee to:

  1.   Promote & Develop Self Education
  2.   Develop Self Motivation.
  3.  Achieve Improved Performance

In Summary, Professional Coaching then,  occurs within the different contexts & challenges of Life.  It focuses on unlocking a Persons Potential to facilitate desired performance.  Professional Coaches help people change how they ‘think and feel’ as they transition through Life.   Essentially helping people improve the quality of their Life Experience.  It also is about helping People learn the skills and attitudes to deal with life’s challenges.

Things that Professional Coaches should be able to tell you!

  • The difference between Coaching and Mentoring
  • What their coaching process is
  • How they will measure success of the coaching process
  • Their formally taught qualifications
  • The Continuous Personal Development (CPD) they undertake
  • What Supervision they undertake
  • What they will do if you the client doesn’t take action
  • Any Professional Organisations they belong to such as:
The Life Coach Directory

Contact Paul Clare Life Coach