Coaching is a conversation between coach and coachee where both work together so that the coachee can take future-oriented action to enhance life experience, attain goals, learn and enhance performance in their professional and/or personal life. While the coach facilitates some kind of change or transformation within the coachee, it is the coachee who has to do the work. Essential to the coaching process is that the coachee grants permission to the coach to coach the coachee.
The coach facilitates the coaching process to support the coachee in:
There are different types of coaching, skills coaching, performance coaching, developmental coaching and generative coaching. Skills coaching is oriented towards the development of skills, for example communication skills, presentation skills or sales skills. In performance coaching the coach and coachee focus on setting goals, overcoming obstacles and evaluating and increasing performance. Developmental coaching deals with personal and professional development issues, and is characterised by moments of insight and developing emotional competencies. Generative coaching is dealing with becoming self-reliant and building skills to deal with future issues through flexibility, adaptability and the capacity to self-transformation.
Although there is a rising demand for coaches, there is very few research on the effectiveness of coaching or its different approaches. There are some studies demonstrating increase in productivity, other studies show that training combined with coaching has better results than training on its own. Some studies show positive effects on stress. As coaching processes are conversation based, and results are often subjective, more research is needed but very difficult.
Most people who perform at peak performance level, make use of a coach. I would go further with a quote from Dr. Ken Blanchard, author of the One Minute Manager: “It doesn’t matter how successful we are, we all need a coach.”