The International Coach 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. Coaching helps people tap into their potential, unlocking sources of creativity and productivity. (Source: ICF and becomea.coach)
The sole focus of a coach is to help an individual or organization (client) design a path towards the success it desires. Coaches hold the client accountable and work with the client to develop sustainable tools that make success inevitable.
Per ICF, the International Coaching Federation, "there are many different types of coaches, including Executive Coaches, Life Vision and Enhancement Coaches, Leadership Coaches, Relationship Coaches and Career Coaches. Individuals may choose to partner with a coach to advance their own personal or professional growth. Many organizations use professional coaches to advance business goals and objectives."
Certified Professional Coaches (CPC) go through a rigorous process to become certified. The global governing body, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) devised and provides the standards to achieve mastery. A CPC has done the following:
Good question. Coaching tends to focus on the present and future, including what the client wants and how the client will achieve the goals. Therapy tends to look at the why by going back into the past. Coaches work with clients to identify goals, and guide and support the client to achieve them.
Most coaching sessions are performed on the phone or via video conference. Occasionally, clients will visit my office or we will meet in person at a designated location.
A typical coaching engagement is a minimum of three (3) months, and often clients renew. The reason for a three month minimum is that it takes time for change to start manifesting itself once the client has begun the work. Most clients work with coaches from six to twelve months.