The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
“Coaching is the art and practice of guiding a person or group from where they are toward the greater competence and fulfillment that they desire.” Gary Collins
The coaching relationship is a powerful partnership between the coach and the client where the client sets the agenda and learns through action. Coaching is forward moving, and the coach assists the client in creating a vision for the future. The coach asks tough questions that prompt clients to think about things they’ve never considered before, or may have dismissed as impossible and helps the client create space to discover the answers.
What coaching is not.... Coaching is not counseling, therapy, consulting, mentoring, or a form of discipleship. The coach is not the “expert” and does not give advice. The client is healthy, motivated, creative, and resourceful. We have found it critical for clients to understand the forward moving component of coaching. This forward movement is what distinguishes coaching from counseling. For example, if you have experienced past sexual abuse, and you have not been able to move forward in certain areas of your life due to the hurt and pain of this abuse, then counseling would be a better fit for you. Also, if you are in the midst of grieving a loved one, counseling may be a better fit at this time. “The coach’s job is to help you think more clearly, to push you to go deeper and reach higher, to provide the structure you need to stay focused on the agenda you’ve chosen.” Tony Stoltzfus