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What is personal coaching; this is a question that many clients ask:


  • Coaching is a form of learning, where a person (coach) supports someone else (a client), to create learning and self-development in a way that benefits the client.
  • Coaching is normally a series of conversations that are generally very direct and personal. The coach uses a combination of observation, questioning, listening and feedback that enables the client to focus their attention and develop greater understanding of their own circumstances. This leads to the creation of new ways to resolve issues, production of better results and the achievement of goals with relative ease.


In summary, coaching is about moving the individual from the “here and now” to achieve their goals.



Why do people have coaching?


People enlist the services of a coach because they want to improve their situations and achieve goals. They want to learn new ways of thinking and approaching situations, in order to get better results.


Common benefits for the client include:

  • Improved sense of direction and focus
  • Increased knowledge of self/self-awareness
  • Improved ability to relate to others
  • Increased motivation
  • Improved personal effectiveness (focused effort)
  • Increased resourcefulness/resilience (ability to handle change)      


Coaching is none of the following:


Structured training (classroom learning)


Structured training relates to a fixed agenda of learning, and a prepared approach to making that learning happen. The trainer will often use a structured approach to ensure a certain amount of information is delivered within a set time frame.


Coaching follows a more flexible format, according to the client’s objectives. Both the client and the coach influence the direction and content of sessions. Coaching places real responsibility for learning on the client and encourages learning to continue after the session.


Therapy, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy


Therapy or counselling assumes the client has an emotional difficulty or immediate crisis. Therapy is therefore aimed at bringing the client back in balance. Coaching assumes the client is stable and does not need to be ‘fixed’.



Whilst coaching is not therapy, and should not be viewed as therapy, it does provide a viable alternative to people who may have previously considered some form of counselling to resolve a situation. Sometimes change can be promoted by a simple shift in perspectives.


Someone else solving your problems for you


Coaching is based on the principle that an individual is ultimately responsible for their lives and the results they’re getting. If the client acknowledges that they are responsible for something, it follows that they have power over it.  A coach will not instruct their client to go and do something specific as this takes the responsibility and consequently the power away from their client.



What to expect from a coach


A coach provides support that is distinct from any other. A coach will focus solely on their clients’ situations with the kind of attention and commitment that is rarely experienced elsewhere.


The coach listens with genuine curiosity to understand where their client is, what they think and generally how they experience the world. They will reflect back to their client, with an objective assessment that creates real clarity. During conversations the coach will encourage their client to rise to challenges, overcome obstacles and get into action.


A coaching relationship is like no other, simply because of its combination of objective detachment and commitment to the clients’ goals. The relationship is based on trust and openness and therefore the contents of the discussions remain confidential.



What the coach expects from their client


The coach will encourage their client to remain committed to the coaching process. This means showing up for sessions, taking their own notes where appropriate, and keeping any agreements that are made during sessions.



In addition the coach needs their client to be open to the potential of coaching. This means contributing to conversations openly and honestly. If something is not working the coach needs to know. If the client has concerns or problems these need to be voiced. The strength and power of coaching relates strongly to the level of trust between the coach and the client.