What is Coaching?

I can’t count how many times people ask me what is coaching. They will say I don’t need a counselor or we already have a consultant. Coaching is neither of these. I have attempted below to share some information about coaching, what it is and what it isn’t. So maybe you are asking what is coaching? Read the information below and see if that helps in understanding what is coaching?


  • Coaching: through coaching sessions, clients will identify what is most important to them and align their thoughts, words, and actions accordingly. The coach will work with clients to identify and to clarify what they want personally and professionally, as well as support them in achieving the life they want and love. Having a life one loves starts with gaining clarity on values, enabling more meaningful choices, and taking consistent action.


  • If professional athletes such as Golfers Ricky Fowler and Phil Mickelson require coaches to help them reach their highest potential, so do we need an outside partner who knows us, listens to us, and who helps us take needed steps toward reaching our highest potential. Through a simple process and a meaningful relationship, your coach will help you clarify your goals, both personal and professional, and then support you as you strive to achieve them.                           

Coaching is not:

  • Psychology
  • Counseling
  • Therapy
  • Consulting
  • Advising

Coaching is:

  • Communication
  • Connecting
  • Accountable
  • Motivation
  • Ethics
  • Sustainable


  • Who is the Expert? Person being coached
  • Assumptions About the Other Person: Healthy, ready to move forward
  • Purpose of Questions: To promote discovery for the person being coached
  • What is the Outcome? New awareness and action


  • Who is the Expert? Counselor
  • Assumptions About the Other Person: Pathology: has experienced a wound that continues to cause hurt
  • Propose of Questions: To provide a diagnosis and/or to better understand why
  • What is the Outcome? Understanding and acceptance to promote healing.

Why have a coach?

Coaching is simply a COMMITMENT to complete and the CONFIDENCE to complete.

Coaching is very important if you are going to set goals and act on them. You are less likely to achieve your goals if you are going it alone. The Institute for Applied Emotional Intelligence did some research on completing goals:

You have an idea – 10%.

Decide when you will do it – 40%.

Plan how you will do it – 65 %.

Commit to someone else you will do it – 65%.

Have a specific accountability appointment with the person to whom you’ve committed to – 95 %. (Bold print is added.)

(Wiseman 2004) (Emotional Intelligence Coaching 2011)

What will the coach bring to the coaching relationship?

  • Listen actively to you and give you my undivided attention.
  • Ask relevant questions and stay focused on the conversation.
  • Not try and diagnose your situation.
  • Build trust in our relationship.
  • Help you generate options.
  • Help you discover solutions.
  • Work with you to take action.
  • You will be my primary focus in the coaching relationship.