What is Coaching?


Part of the problem is the word “coach” itself.

Taking a moment to think about the ways people use this term, an array of images come to mind. A sports coach.  A management consultant. A wise teacher on life and purpose. An expert on leadership or communication who provides training on how to improve.

As the coaching style has become more desired in different professional settings, people have become more confused on what coaching actually is.


Who manages the process?

In coaching, the client is in the driver seat. The coach’s job is not to provide the answers or give expert advice about how to approach a situation. Coaching is based on the principle that all people are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. The coach’s role is to be the facilitator of change, but not the one owning the change. Only you can make the change you need to make in your own life. What this looks like in coaching is blank.

  1. Your goals are the focus
  2. You set the agenda
  3. You determine what’s the best course of action
  4. You commit to the process

The coach’s role is to manage the process. Often the most important act the coach can do is hold up the mirror to reflect back what we are observing so you can see things more objectively.

Instead, the coach is present to be with the client, hold up a mirror to reflect back, and help the client to

Whether it is to find direction for a potential career shift, gain new skills in leadership, or develop creative capacity, coaching can be a transformative way to help you grow and make change. James Flaherty (2014) articulates the purpose of coaching well when he says:

“Coaching is a way of working with people that leaves them more competent and more fulfilled so that they are able to contribute to their organizations and find meaning in what they are doing.”

At its core, the purpose of coaching is growth and change. Among many things, coaching can help you:

  • Identify goals
  • Gain increased self-awareness
  • Learn how to use talents and strengths
  • Build new skills and behaviors
  • Identify solutions and pathways for change previously unknown
  • Make real change for yourself and your communities.

Coaching does not attempt to accomplish the same goals as therapy. In coaching, we do not diagnose or treat. We operate under the coactive coaching principle that you as the client are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. Furthermore, coaching does not attempt to tackle historical issues in your family or past, but instead it is action-oriented and focused on the present and future. Lastly, coaching is not about fixing you or forcing you into certain cultural style or personality. Though accountability and feedback are an essential component of the coaching relationship, you are in the driver’s seat. Coaching is about evoking potential and helping you identify your own capacity for growth.

I work with both individuals and teams, and my coaching boils down to this – I am here to help people unlock their potential.