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What is Coaching?

The ‘International Coaching Federation’, ICF defines coaching as partnering with individuals in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment.

Coaches honor the coachee as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every individual is creative, resourceful and whole.

Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the individual wants to achieve.
  • Encourage individual’s self-discovery.
  • Elicit coachee-generated solutions and strategies.
  • Hold the individual responsible and accountable.

This process helps individuals dramatically improve their outlook on work and life while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.

What does coaching ask of an individual?

To be successful, coaching asks certain things, all of which begin with intention.

Additionally, a coachee should:

  • Focus on one’s self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one’s success.
  • Observe the behaviors and communications of others.
  • Listen to one’s intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.
  • Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one’s goals in a superior way.
  • Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style.
  • Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.
  • Show compassion for one’s self while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.
  • Commit to not take one’s self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
  • Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
  • Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self examination without fear.

Is there proof coaching works?

Yes! The ICF Global Coaching Client Study shows most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities.

The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance and an improvement in wellness.

Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment.

The median suggests that a client who achieved financial benefit from coaching can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent.

According to the same report, the vast majority of companies (86 percent) say they at least made their investment back. In fact, almost one-fifth (19 percent) saw a ROI of 50 times their investment, while another 28 percent saw a ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment.

Nearly all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied.

According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study, a stunning 99 percent of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall coaching experience.

For more details, go to the ICF Research Portal, as well as press releases about ICF’s return-on-investment research.

How can the success of the coaching process be measured?

Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways: external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success. Ideally, both are incorporated.

Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship, increased income/revenue, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback that is obtained from a sample of the individual’s constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, boss, the manager him/herself), personal and/or business performance data (e.g., productivity, efficiency measures). The external measures selected should be things the individual is already measuring and has some ability to directly influence.

Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process, changes in the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking that create more effective actions, and shifts in one’s emotional state that inspire confidence.

Inspired by

International Coaching Federation 

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