The ICF’s (International Coaching Federation’s) definition of coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Well I just have to say “God bless ‘em.” But I know that W. Edwards Deming would ask for an operational definition, which is to say a definition which lays out specific operational processes by which it can be determined if the activity has been properly carried out or not. So, let’s step back and start again.
What Is a Useful Operational Definition of Coaching?
I would say that the desired result of coaching is for the client to experience significant progress toward their goals through the combined efforts of the coach and the client. Clearly, defining the client’s goals, early on, is a key part of the process. After that, identifying any barriers that the client is experiencing in achieving those goals also is key. And that is when the real coaching begins.
Got Their Goals. Got Their Attention. So what now?
As I said, this is when the real coaching begins. And if that is the case, we must be very close to the definition of coaching. So what is it? OK! I’ll tell you: after you help them define their goals and after you help them figure out their barriers, let the coaching begin!
So Let the Coaching Begin!
Let the coaching begin and let’s just figure out the definition of coaching. Tap into your knowledge of assessment coaching. You did have them complete an assessment, didn’t you? Tap into your knowledge of strategy coaching. You did determine their own sense of how they were meeting the four fundamental human needs, didn’t you? And then you apply the principles of accountability coaching, and helped them confront the barriers that hold then back from achieving their goals, didn’t you? Well if you didn’t have positive answers to these questions, then you need more than a dictionary and a blog post to determine the definition of coaching. Don’t you.
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JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach