What is Coaching?

In the coaching profession, it helps us as practitioners to define terms when we work with our clients. We want to have a firm understanding of what our client means when they say statements such as, “I want to see my business grow.” or “I want to make more money online.”

This could mean a lot of things to a lot of people so I’d want my client to define what each of that statements means to them in their own heads which will allow me to visualize what they want.

With that in mind, I’d like to share what coaching is by the expert definitions I use when I think of coaching.

The first definition I will use comes from the International Coaching Federation (otherwise known as ICF for short). The International Coaching Federation was the first organization developed by Thomas Leonard to give coaching as a profession a set of guidelines and an ethical code to adhere to.

Here is the International Coaching Federation definition on their about page states:

The “ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential (para. 16)”

The second definition I will use comes from Coach U, Inc.. Coach U, Inc. was the first coaching school that was also developed by Thomas Leonard to teach the International Coaching Federation’s set of guidelines and ethical code to individuals who wanted to train to become a coach as a profession.

Here is the Coach U follows the ICF’s definition, but also describes in their personal and corporate training handbook.  Coach U’s Personal and Corporate Coach Training Handbook (2005, p. 10) states:

“Coaching is a catalyzing relationship that accelerates the process of performance; it’s about the individuals’ and/or organizations’ identifying the purpose and living out that purpose.”

Having this definition and a description help me communicate in my own mind what coaching is to me.

BP Business Coaching’s definition of coaching:

For BP Business Coaching, coaching is a thought-provoking partnership that helps coaches and consultants to maximize their potential and performance in their business.

BP and the client does this by identifying what the organization’s purpose and then setting goals and a plan to achieve that purpose. BP maximize the business’ potential and performance by continuously improving the strengths and weaknesses of the foundation of the business and the business’s strategy.