What is coaching?

The ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Usually, coaching is used as a means to an end – something we want to achieve, a goal we have in mind and we need some help in dealing with that and to go all the way.

Who is coaching for?

Professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and students will benefit from coaching as this is an empowering practice that is able to help in ways that develop the potential of an individual.

What is the difference between therapy and coaching?

I will be creative and use the metaphor of a man and a bucket to explain the difference here. If someone uses a bucket to carry water and realises that the water they carry is not enough and needs to think about how to use the bucket more effectively or to learn how to fill the bucket more or even get an extension for the bucket in place, then these issues would be closer to finding a coach. However, if the bucket has some cracks and water cannot be transferred to where the man needs to go, they would probably require someone to help fix the cracks on the bucket or help them get rid of the bucket and see how they can replace it with a new one. That would be the equivalent of therapy.

Some deeper work usually is needed in therapy with some discussion around past issues and “unfinished business” from the past while coaching is more present and future-oriented.

To sum up, the purpose of coaching is frequently about performance improvement, learning, or development in some area of life while therapy often will delve into deep-seated emotional issues to work on personal healing and/or trauma recovery.

What issues can be discussed in coaching?

In terms of issues that can be discussed, coaching is not so different than therapy. The main issues that I find my clients want to discuss are the following:

  • Stress related to their professional life
  • Burn-out
  • Career Transitions
  • Impasse and how to move forward
  • Self-motivation issues and how to motivate others
  • Frustration and disappointment
  • Important decisions that need some thinking through
  • Work-life balance
  • Relationship and life management
  • Time management
  • Setting priorities
  • Developing skills