What is coaching?

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) defines coaching as follows:

“Coaching targets high performance and improvement at work and usually focuses on specific skills and goals, although it may also have an impact on an individual’s personal attributes (such as social interaction or confidence). The process typically lasts for a relatively short period.

Although there is a lack of agreement among coaching professionals about precise definitions, the following are some generally agreed characteristics of coaching in organisations:

  • It is essentially a non-directive form of development, though this is not a hard and fast rule.
  • It focuses on improving performance and developing individuals’ skills.
  • Personal issues may be discussed but the emphasis is on performance at work.
  • Coaching activities have both organisational and individual goals.
  • It provides people with feedback on both their strengths and their weaknesses.
  • It is a skilled activity, which should be delivered by people who are trained to do so.”

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) define coaching as:

“an ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal
and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning,
improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life …..in each meeting, the
client chooses the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes
observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client into
action. Coaching accelerates the client’s progress by providing greater focus and
awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they
are willing to do to get to where they want to be tomorrow”

These are the contexts within which I offer coaching in HE.

Coaching is not about the past – it’s about the future.

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