Coaching is the process of helping an individual, business professional, or group of people evolve their skills, their opportunities, or their offerings.
A coach does not do the work for the individual, nor is the coach an outside consultant. Instead, the client or client-group does the actions and activities that create the needed progress. The client is creates his/her own lessons - and its own attainment. The client creates his/her/their own victories, and revels in the personal triumph.
The best way of describing the coach's role, is more like "that brilliant voice in your own head that helps you manage, move forward on ideas, and succeed". A coach should feel almost invisible to the planning and working process.
A professional coach does the following:
- uses time-proven evidence-based coaching methods
- helps the client (or client group) gain clarity
- asks discerning questions to eliminate ambivalence
- helps create practice (or test) scenarios to further clarify thoughts
- functions as a social anthropologist, sifting through current client (or group) actions to find clues for clarity
- helps the client develop appropriate goals and timelines based on the client's own needs
- guides the client (or client group) to SMART goals: specific, measurable, realistic, and time-oriented
- helps redefine timelines as needed
- provides a benevolent feedback circumstance
- functions as an accountability partner
- helps gather resources for successful completion
- teaches clients how to move forward without the coach's help, in the near future
Coaching often takes place in a defined time period, in-person or over a communication device such as telephone, web-camera, and/or email.