Coaching process

Coaching process

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Coaching is essentially about helping individuals regulate and direct their interpersonal and intra-personal resources to better attain their goals.” The primary method is assisting the client to identify and form well crafted goals and develop an effective action plan” (Grant; 2006 p. 153) .

Coaching is individual work with a Coach, allowing the Client to recognize his skills, abilities and talents and to use the potential more fully. Coaching is oriented solely on the present and future, because we cannot change the past. Coaching helps to cross barriers, expand the comfort zone, get to know oneself better, raise self-esteem, find a balance between work and life.

Characteristics of Coaching as a discipline

  • is voluntary
  • excludes any directive e.g. from Coach
  • helps people learn and is not to teach them
  • is built on the basis of questions
  • stimulates thinking
  • is done in an atmosphere of respect and full acceptance of Coachee’s value
  • leads to conscious changes
  • focuses on achieving goals

Factors to consider in the coaching process include the total number of sessions (shown as N below), how long each session is (shown as T below) and the frequency of sessions (F) shown in the model here:

Results = (N x T)/F

Bullets that may help understand Coaching

  • Expertise: Working with subjects to increase their abilities.
  • Atmosphere: Less formal, wide-ranging. Reactionary and spontaneous. 
  • Subject: Usually has foundational knowledge and skill.
  • Primary Activity: Molding and adjusting.
  • Style: Hands-on; personalized.
  • Advancement: Based on real-time proficiency. 
  • Testing: Real-world applications.

Teaching and Training

Teaching and training involve an expert teacher who imparts knowledge to their students.

Although the best teachers will use participative and interactive techniques, like coaching, there is very definitely an imbalance of knowledge, with the teacher as expert knowing the ‘right answer’.


  • Expertise: Talking to subjects to establish a baseline understanding. 
  • Atmosphere: More formal; in school, by appointment, etc. Planned. 
  • Subject: Usually no prior knowledge of what is being taught. 
  • Primary Activity: Disseminating information. 
  • Style: General, by the book. 
  • Advancement: Triggered by time or other benchmarks. 
  • Testing: Recall of facts. Formal “leveling up” process.

Which is better, coaching or teaching?

Hate to say it, but a mix of both! And, it depends on the situation!

I’d say everyone has to be taught in order to understand what it is they know and don’t know, and to have a good idea of where they need further coaching. 

For example, think of a tutor as the coach that takes over after the teacher has had their time with a student. The teacher introduces the subject and lays the groundwork. The tutor, then, comes in and helps a student “unlock” that knowledge, giving them feedback on their current understanding, and making adjustments to help fine tune. 

Another example, going back to sports. I’d say an athlete is their own teacher, or perhaps the parent is the teacher when their child is at a young age. They show them how to shoot a basketball, dribble, etc. From there, they move on to working with a basketball coach, who adjusts their form, and teaches new and different aspects of the game.

Mentoring and Counselling

Mentoring is similar to coaching. There is general agreement that a mentor is a guide who helps someone to learn or develop faster than they might do alone.

In the workplace mentors are often formally designated as such by mutual agreement, and outside of an individual’s line management chain. They usually have considerable experience and expertise in the individual’s line of business.

A mentoring relationship usually focuses on the future, career development, and broadening an individual’s horizons, unlike coaching which tends to focus more on the here and now and solving immediate problems or issues

Counselling is closer to a therapeutic intervention. It focuses on the past, helping the individual to overcome barriers and issues from their past and move on. Here, the focus may be either internal or external.

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