What Is Coaching

Lani Rasmussen,
i2i Head of Learning and Coaching explains...

Clawing its rightful way out of the woodwork, the exponentially rising profession of COACHING synthesises the best from psychology, business, evolution, philosophy, spirituality and finance. It uses specific tools and structured conversations to assist coachees in solving problems, reaching goals, designing plans of action, and making decisions.


Coaching’s overall aim is to help coachees become fully self-generative by being whole and well, take smart actions rather than just be busy, and build a sustaining community for resources, love, and support. The most straight-forward coaching definition around is simply this:

Helping someone to learn with out telling them what to do.


Coaching encourages a coachee to take more action, think bigger, get the job done—a supportive structure that holds accountability and responsibility in the hands of the coachee. Coaches provide the catalyst for individuals as they fix, solve, create, or plan something, personally or professionally.


Coaching conversations are non-judgemental and focus on enhancing the performance of the coachee, for the benefit of the coachee. Coachees use their own abilities, skill sets, and beliefs to reach their goals, ambitions, and dreams. Coaches expertly ask excellent, ‘lasered’ questions, clarify answers, and give full accountability to the coachee.




One of the distinguishing characteristics of coaching is that coaches ‘stay with’ their coachees as they implement their action plans, working with them as they overcome obstacles and steer through inevitable changes. Coach and coachee become a genuine team and use this synergy to provide a strong focus on the coachee’s goals and needs, helping the coachee achieve more that they would alone.




How do Coaches do this?


Most goals need fine-tuning, and coaches initiate and aid this process. At the same time, they strengthen the coachee internally so that the coachee may experience rapid growth. Environments support and shape, so coaches guide coachees in creating productive spaces where they can reduce, resolve, acquire, expand, and live to their maximum potential. Coaches create gaps that pull coachees forward. They do this by forging a bond shrouded in trust—coaches listen to care, not to coach. They validate feelings and focus on the coachee, not the result. They remind the coachee who they are, and they always tell the truth.


Coaches believe their coachees are well and do not need ‘fixing.’ They use encouragement and empathy to challenge and help clarify coachee goals. They ally with their coachee to strengthen and re-focus when necessary, expand their thinking, and evoke motivating and meaningful action plans.


A relationship centralised on building a coachees skills and self, coaching creates space by collaborating and supporting coachees during transitional periods of reducing and eliminating tolerations, problems, compromises, resistance, doubts, fears, and uncertainty. This new space allows for more—more of what the coachee really wants.


Coaching is about the coachee and the coachee’s agenda. Coaching neglects to give advice. Advice is personal—what you have been through, how you have handled a challenge. It comes from personal experience. Giving advice is giving one’s own answers to one’s own questions and issues from one’s own life. These answers are about how one sees the world, and is shaped around one’s own values. Advice could cause the wrong outcome, induce hurt feelings, or possibly damage a situation. What’s worse, the result would be the coach’s doing. This may seem great if the outcome is positive and works. The catch is that even with a positive end, the ownership and self accountability of the coachee is severely diminished. Coachees believe coachee’s ideas are the best ideas.


Coaches open themselves full to coachees and educate them continuously. They share formulas, principles or maxims, recommend books, increase awareness, and tell stories or parables that allow the coachee to find their own relevant meaning. They challenge coachees because they expect their best. They speak directly, demand changes, and help coachees unhook from the future.


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