“A coach is someone who does not tell anyone what to do; he does not give advice or provide solutions. He/she acts as a catalyst for a positive change in a way that is appropriate for individuals as well as organisation.”
A good coach creates a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual trust and respect. A Coach helps his/her clients develop and maintain an effective coaching plan and leaves them responsible to take action.
The Coaching as a concept, philosophy and a process can be applied in all work life as well as personal life situations, informally or formally.
Some of the professional applications of coaching used widely are in the following areas:
- Life/Personal coaching
Life coaching focuses on helping people identify and achieve personal goals. The tools and techniques used in life coaching at times could be similar to the ones used in other disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, adult development and career counselling etc.
Life coaching is usually private/personal often done on telephone. The life coaches are generally self-employed and typically do weekly sessions of about 30-60 minutes. Focus is on self-fulfilment and life decisions, which generally features career and/or own business development aim. Life coaching is strongly facilitative, not imposed or prescriptive.
A professional coach may use inquiry, reflection requests and discussion to help clients identify personal and/or business and/or relationship goals, and develop action plans intended to achieve those goals. The client takes action, and the coach may assist, but never leads or does more than the client.
- Business coaching
Business coaching provides positive support, feedback and advice to an individual or group basis to improve their personal effectiveness in the business setting. Business coaching includes executive coaching, corporate coaching and leadership coaching.
Business coaching is not the same as mentoring. Mentoring involves a developmental relationship between a more experienced “mentor” and a less experienced partner, and typically involves sharing of advice. A business coach can act as a mentor given that he or she has adequate expertise and experience.
Business coaches also focus on helping entrepreneurs develop the mindset necessary to be successful in business as well as helping them get clear on their brand, their mission, the audience they serve, and the overall vision they have for their business.
Some business coaches specialize in specific business aspects such as marketing, copywriting, networking, retreats, workshops/seminars, product development, operating systems, etc.
- Executive coaching
Executive coaching is designed to help facilitate professional and personal development to the point of individual growth, improved performance and contentment. Most important, the coach attempts to stimulate the client’s self-discovery by posing powerful questions and/or assigning homework.
Executive coaches work their clients towards specific professional goals. These include career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization.
It is often a service to the executive’s employer and paid for by the organization. Coaches are self-employed or employees of organisation, there is strong emphasis on leadership, strategy, relationships, and politics.
Executive coaches usually have considerable experience necessary for trust of their clients and fees are usually much higher than in life coaching
- Career coaching
Career coaching focuses on work and career or issues around careers. It is similar in nature to career counselling and traditional counselling. Career coaching is not to be confused with life coaching, which concentrates on personal development.
- Skills coaching
This form of coaching focuses on the core skills an employee needs to perform in their role. Skills coaching provide a flexible, adaptive, ‘just-in-time’ approach to skills development. Coaching programs are tailored specifically to the individual and are generally focused on achieving a number of skill development objectives that are linked to the needs of the organisation.
- Sports coaching
In sports, a coach is an individual that teaches and supervises, which involves giving directions, instruction and training of the on-field operations of an athletic team or of individual athletes. This type of coach gets involved in all the aspects of the sport, including physical and mental player development.
Sports coaches train their athletes to become better at the physical components of the game, while others train athletes to become better at the mental components of the game. The coach is assumed to know more about the sport, and have more previous experience and knowledge.
The coach’s job is to transfer as much of this knowledge and experience to the players to develop the most skilled athletes. When coaching it entail to the application of sport tactics and strategies during the game or contests itself, and usually entails substitution of players and other such actions as needed.
- Relationship Coaching
Relationship coaches work with both couples and individuals to increase relationship skills. For singles, this could include attracting a partner, keeping a partner, and building a strong relationship foundation. Or for couples, it could include improving communication patterns, increasing intimacy, and responding better to one another.
- Health & Wellness Coaching
Health & wellness coaches focus on helping individuals and/or groups change their lifestyle to improve overall health and wellbeing. This could include revamping a diet, increasing self-care regimen, developing a workout routine, etc.
Certain health and wellness coaches specify in certain lifestyle changes such as going sugar free, gluten free, vegetarian, and/or vegan. Health and wellness coaching can also extend to a holistic perspective to include spirituality, relationship, and self-confidence aspects.
Some clients choose to stay with the same life coach as they gain further direction while some decide to work with a coach that is more specialized. For instance, a client who came to the realization they wanted to start a business while working with their personal life coach may then go on to work with a business coach to help get their business off the ground.
There are also subspecialties that can exist within each niche. Some coaches also specialize in working with only women vs. only men. A coach could also provide group coaching or individual coaching.