Succeeding at the Game of College

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What is Coaching?

Posted by succeedingatthegameofcollege on April 14, 2009 at 11:57 AM

What is Coaching?


Coaching is a relatively new profession which has blended the best of psychology, business, philosophy, counseling, spirituality and finance.  Coaching is a very personal and productive human relationship which focuses on individual problem solving. This is followed up by helping the individual move in a positive direction by utilizing all of their best resources! Coaching has taken on immense popularity in business, industry, education and government in both individual and group formats.


The first use of the word “coach” appeared in the 1500’s.  It was used to describe a carriage. The definition is still very fitting today – to convey a person from where he/she is to where he/she wants to be. Coaches are sometimes called: mentors, guides, listeners, cheerleaders, confidants and role models.  In whatever form, professional life coaching is here to stay!


We love the following phrase as it relates to the coach – client relationship: “What they see is what they’ll be!”  A coach can be a powerful role model in another’s personal development and life successes. Here are some key thoughts on coaching and the role of coaches:


  • A coach can help an individual focus on a task they wish to work on without getting side tracked.  Some great coaching areas can include:
    • Solving a specific issue or problem
    • Improving on the quality of their life
    • Making a change in their life
    • Reinventing themselves for a higher quality of life
  • Coaching is usually short term and very focused as described above. A coach usually works on one issue at a time.
  • A coach can provide explicit feedback.
  • Coaching can help individuals develop their life skills. These skills can include:
    • Developing their self esteem
    • Developing their critical thinking and problem solving approaches to life
    • Developing their career development awareness
    • Developing their personal life planning abilities
    • Developing their creative thinking.
  • A coach usually drives the session. Coaches will provide homework and expect the individual to stay on task and work on the issue of real concern outside of the coaching session. This is an extremely important part of the coaching process.
  • A coach can show an individual where they may have gone wrong or where they may have exhibited faulty thinking in their homework and provides appropriate feedback and constructive ideas.
  • A coach stays “here and now” focused and does not usually venture deep into the past.
  • A coach can help an individual answer the following questions:
    • What’s going on right now in my life?
    • How would I like it to be?
    • What am I doing to get there?
    • What resources will I need to get there?
  • A coach can help an individual clarify their values by posing the following types of questions:
    • What brings you the greatest joy in life?
    • What do you value in life (family, spirituality, etc.)? Why do you value these things?
    • How do you honor your values in the choices you make every day?
    • Are you true to yourself and your values?

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