Do we Really Need a Definition of Coaching?
One of the problems that the industry of professional life coaching seems to have is an identity crisis. Wether it’s co-active coaching or NLP life coaching, no one seems to know just what the definition of coaching really is. I was at a party tonight and people were asking me questions when I told them that I ran a coaching company. They asked things like, “What do you teach?”. “Are you about marketing?”. “Do you motivate people?” I always knew that life coaching and it’s brethren have lots of misconceptions in the ‘real world’ about what we do and how we do it.
You would think that having a definition of coaching would help this little identity crisis. If we could only DEFINE this thing called executive coaching or life coaching or whatever, then we could help people understand what it is and what life coaching is about. I guess in a way we’d be supplying life coaching training to everyone, and they would see us just as any other profession.
Although the definition of coaching is simple, and discusses everything you’d hope (working together to produce a specific result, etc.) Those same misconceptions and mistakes that my new friends at the party had would still be there, even if they knew the ‘certified’ definition of coaching.
NLP Life Coaching Takes the Test
Look at something more specific, like NLP life coaching. there are tons of techniques that NLP life coaching envelops. NLP originally was a modeling technology, but then people began to mistake it for therapeutic techniques. Now people look at NLP life coaching as hypnosis or manipulation mind tricks. How far can you go off the deep end trying to define something as broad as NLP life coaching? The trouble is that NLP life coaching is even more specifically defined in terms of the skills and results involved that just general coaching doesn’t have to deal with. The definition of coaching wont help with clarity around coaching and a further definition won’t help with clarity about NLP.
The Definition of Coaching Still Lives On…
No matter how much the definition of coaching eludes or clarifies itself to us, the ephemeral and mercurial art of coaching is going to have to cover a lot of ground. It’s a big job, and the only thing that we as coaches can do about it is to learn as many of the techniques as possible and then really commit to helping our clients at the highest level with those same NLP life coaching techniques.
Jeffrey T. Sooey
CEO, JTS Advisors