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In recent years, coaching has become a buzzword, especially within leadership circles, but there are still many misconceptions about what it is. 

What is coaching? Quoted from the ICF website,,  The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity, and leadership. We all have goals we want to reach, challenges we’re striving to overcome, and times when we feel stuck. Partnering with a coach can change your life. setting you on a path to greater personal and professional fulfillment. 

Here are three key things to know about coaching: 

1. Coaching is for performance development and enhancement — not for remediation.

Athletes have coaches to help improve their performance so that they can win matches and break records — even if it’s their own personal records. Even if you are at the top, you can still challenge yourself and continue to grow. A coach will help keep you focused on your goals, and the process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.

2. Coaching is often confused with other modalities like consulting and mentoring, but there is one big differentiator 

In consulting and mentoring, someone else is the expert. A consultant offers advice and possible solutions. A mentor provides wisdom and guidance. In coaching, you are the subject matter expert. You set your objectives and goals, although a coach can help you ensure they are actionable, and the results are measurable. Then, you tap into yourself and do the work required to create the outcomes you seek.

A coach is an expert in the coaching process. It is their role to create a safe, non-judgmental space for you to clarify your goals and explore creative solutions. A coach is also there to keep you accountable to the goals you’ve set and to motivate you when you need it.

3. Coaching is confidential (even if it’s employer-paid).

Coaching can be a deeply personal and private experience. Having a confidential, safe space is crucial for the process to work and allows you to be fully open, vulnerable and authentic with yourself. That’s why what you discuss during a coaching session remains between you and your coach — even if your organization pays for your coaching engagement. Members and Credential-holders of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) have made an ethical pledge to maintain client confidentiality. When you decide to seek a coach, you will want to ensure that they are committed to your privacy unless it is determined that mandatory reporting laws prevent confidentiality. 

• A partner in achieving goals 

• A confidant when exploring choices 

• A motivator towards growth

• A source of enthusiasm and support 

• A sounding board to help create a more productive life 

• A referee to help clients push the envelope 

•    A therapist or a licensed mental health professional. In the event during a coaching session, it is deemed that a client needs this type of professional intervention, referrals to a therapist or a licensed mental health professional will be made. 

•    Coaching does not involve the diagnosis or treatment of mental disorders as defined by the American Psychiatric Association and that coaching is not to be used as a substitute for counseling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, or other professional advice by legal, medical, or other qualified professionals and that it is the individual’s exclusive responsibility to seek such independent professional guidance as needed. 

•    If the coaching client is currently under the care of a mental health professional, it is recommended that he/she promptly inform the mental health care provider of the nature and extent of the coaching relationship agreed upon by the individual and the Coach.

A Coach is not...

A Coach is...

● Discover your inner strength, knowledge and desires. 

● Be “in action” because you set the goals you really want. 

● Have a balanced life because you designed it. 

● Be comfortable leaving your comfort zone. 

● Help you reach higher without getting consumed by the process. 

● Make focused and informed decisions. 

● Learn that you are in control of your life and how you live in it. 

● Gain closure, move forward, and clear up unresolved issues. 

● Learn how to live a fulfilling life and ask for what you need. 

● Look at life in a more positive way and stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

● Strengthen your support system. 

With a Coach, you may...

Coaching makes a difference when two factors are present: 

1.    The client is willing to change and grow.
2.    There is a gap between where the client is now and where they want to be. (The gap can be many things: Their personal life, love life, work life, boundary issues, fears, etc.) 

Benefits of working with a Coach

With A Coach, you may ...

Professional Growth 
Personal Growth 
Improve Their Communication Skills 
Identifying and Setting Goals 
Not Moving Forward in Their Life 
Relationship Issues 
Money Issues 
Clarifying Their Life Purpose 
Stress Reduction 

Spiritual Development
Time Management Issues
Finding a Life Partner 
Resolving Old Issues 
Finding Balance 
Career Change or Improvement 
Family Relationships 

To Have More Fun
Acceptance of Others 
Boundary Issues 
Improve Self Esteem 
Gain More Confidence 
Simplify Their Life 
Learn New Skills 
Gain More Peace and Serenity

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