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What is Coaching?

The definition of coaching from the International Coach Federation is:

       ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential’


Another way to describe it is:

  • A form of learning, where a person (coach) supports someone else (coachee) to create learning and self-development in a way that benefits them.

  • If you think of where the word comes from, a rail coach or road coach ‘transports’ you from one place to another.  This is the same for coaching – it is about moving forward or change.

  • Coaching is usually a conversation or series of conversations to benefit the coachee.  It could be in a variety of ways and environments – conversation in a room, a video call, phone call or the coach observing something and then discussing it with the coachee.


People find a coach usually because they want to improve their situation or move to achieve goals. 

For example:

  • Improve confidence

  • Become more effective at work

  • Balance the pressures of life

  • Become more organised


A good coach will use listening, observation, questioning and feedback to create a rich conversation and unlock insight and learning in the coachee.  The coachee will experience focus and attention to allow them to develop greater awareness and appreciation of their circumstances.  They will also create new ways to resolve issues.  Common benefits include: improved focus and sense of direction, increased self-awareness, improved ability to relate to others, increased motivation, increased resilience and resourcefulness.

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