Inside Wave
What is Coaching?

What is Coaching?

Loreen Myers
What is Coaching?

Coaching is a transformative process that helps individuals achieve their desired changes and goals. Let's dive into this 🌊

Coaching serves as a guiding force, enabling personal and professional growth. Unlike traditional teaching, coaching focuses on facilitating learning rather than simply instructing.

While coaching has traditionally been associated with sports, it has evolved to encompass various areas of life, including business and personal development. Nowadays, seeking the assistance of a coach to achieve personal and professional objectives has become the norm.

In a coaching partnership, the coach collaborates with the client to unlock their full potential and create the outcomes they desire. The coach's expertise lies not in the client's specific field of work but in providing support and guidance throughout the journey.

Coaching fosters self-awareness and empowers individuals to make informed choices, leading to meaningful change. It helps individuals maximize their performance by unleashing their untapped capabilities.

By partnering with a coach, individuals gain valuable insights and develop the necessary skills to excel in their endeavors. The coach acts as a catalyst, helping clients identify their strengths and overcome challenges.

Ultimately, coaching is a powerful tool that propels individuals towards their personal best. It ignites the spark of motivation and cultivates a mindset of continuous growth and improvement.

Coaching Definition

Professional coaching plays a vital role in today's complex and uncertain world. However, the coaching industry lacks regulation and understanding. To address this, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) serves as a professional body that upholds industry ethics and standards.

According to the ICF, coaching is a collaborative process that empowers clients to unleash their personal and professional potential. Coaches view clients as the experts in their own lives and work, recognizing their creativity, resourcefulness, and wholeness.

Unlike instructing or advising, coaching focuses on self-discovery and exploration. The coach's role is to unlock the client's potential through professional guidance.

By embracing professional coaching, individuals gain the opportunity to navigate their unique journeys of self-discovery and maximize their capabilities.

History of coaching

The term "coach" originated from the Hungarian town of Koc in the 15th century, where carriages were built. The earliest recorded use of the word "coach" in an academic context dates back to the 1830s at the University of Oxford. It referred to a tutor who provided support to students in their academic pursuits. The analogy drew from the idea of a coach or carriage transporting individuals from one point to another.

Over time, coaching has evolved into a well-established practice for facilitating purposeful and positive change. It has gained recognition in various industries and is now taught at universities worldwide. The development of evidence-based approaches and the emergence of coaching-specific academic literature have contributed to its professionalization and solidified its position in the corporate landscape

The concept of professional coaching has evolved over the years through the efforts of various coaching companies dedicated to their respective professions.

By 2006, the number of coaching schools had grown significantly, with over 275 English-language institutions offering coaching programs. These included academic institutions, private training schools, and international schools, contributing to the widespread use of coaching in professional contexts worldwide.

Professional Associations

Coaching has emerged as a recognized profession, leading to the formation of several professional associations. The National Association of Professional Coaches (NAPC) was the first association, established by Thomas Leonard in 1992. Subsequently, other associations such as the International Coach Federation (ICF), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), and the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC) were founded.

Over time, these professional associations have played a crucial role in providing credibility, connecting coaches, and advancing the coaching profession. The ICF, in particular, has grown to become the world's largest organization of professionally trained coaches.

The field of coaching has expanded into various niches and specialties, catering to different areas of life. These specialties can be broadly classified into business, personal, and life-related categories. The life specialties focus on non-professional aspects such as quality of life, relationships, personal identity, and change. Personal coaching can be further divided into five subgroups:

  1. Life: Purpose, vision, lifestyle design, motivation, creativity, integrity, authenticity, clarity.
  2. Relationships: Family, parenting, teens/children, LGBTQ+, sexuality.
  3. Transitions: Divorce, retirement.
  4. Well-being: ADHD, wellness, self-care, addictions.
  5. Spiritual: Christian and other spiritual orientations (Brock, 2014).

Within the business domain, coaching specialties are defined by the client base, the client's role, the coaching situation, and the coaching focus. The three main subgroups in this category are:

  1. Business: Entrepreneurship, organizational development, team dynamics, professional growth, sales, cross-cultural diversity.
  2. Leadership: Executive coaching, leadership development, management skills.
  3. Career: Transitions, planning, and development (Brock, 2014)

It is important to differentiate between a professional coach specializing in management and/or leadership coaching and an organizational leader or manager employing a coaching approach. A professional coach with expertise in management and/or leadership coaching is typically an external consultant who supports managers and leaders in achieving their goals. On the other hand, an organizational leader or manager who adopts a coaching approach is an internal employee who guides and leads their team through a coaching model, focusing on problem-solving, employee development, and providing support and guidance without being directive (Ibarra & Scoular, 2019).

Types of Coaching

In the professional world, various types of coaching play a crucial role in helping individuals and organizations grow and develop.

A. Personal coaching focuses on addressing individual issues like decision-making, career change, and building self-confidence. It can be initiated by individuals who want to improve themselves or recommended by companies to enhance employee performance. During personal coaching, it's important to assess the client's values, beliefs, and self-perception. Understanding the desired change and setting clear objectives are critical first steps in this process.

Examples of personal coaching topics include decision-making, where clients seek validation for specific choices and work on their self-confidence. Another area is self-acceptance, where clients aim to overcome negative self-judgment and achieve specific goals. Time management is also commonly addressed since clients often struggle to manage their time effectively and require assistance in reframing their perception of it. Additionally, career change coaching supports clients who feel uncomfortable in their current roles and are exploring alternative paths, which can be a transformative journey.

B. Relationship coaching aims to improve the quality of relationships with others, such as team members or managers. While it is often part of other coaching types, relationship coaching focuses on three key aspects: person A, person B, and the relationship itself. The primary goal is to help client A work on the impact of the relationship on themselves and enhance relationship dynamics. It's important to note that relationship coaching does not involve directly working on person B, even if clients initially request changes in the other person.

C. Management coaching assists managers in understanding team dynamics and implementing positive changes. It covers areas such as leadership and management skills, delegation, team collaboration, conflict management, and more. Additionally, management coaching addresses personal balance, stress management, and the creation of a unified team culture that provides a sense of purpose.

D. Leadership coaching is specifically tailored for individuals in leadership positions, including C-level executives, senior managers, and business owners. It focuses on addressing leadership challenges that affect the entire organization. Leadership coaching often involves refining leadership style, which includes effectively directing a group's attention. By enhancing their leadership skills, leaders can influence the overall strategy, structure, teams, and financing of the organization.

The diverse range of coaching types available within the professional sphere provides valuable support for individuals seeking personal and professional growth. Through coaching, individuals can overcome challenges, unleash their potential, and make a positive impact on their organizations and the wider world.

How Wave Does Coaching

When it comes to coaching, there are various approaches available. However, Wave stands out with its distinctive coaching methodology and tools, which have been inspired by existing methods but tailored specifically for an asynchronous setup.

Coach Yourself with Wave's Support

The best coach you can have is yourself, but achieving progress independently is not always feasible. That's where Wave comes in. While our program is designed to help clients progress on their own, it recognizes the importance of providing support and acting as a mirror for their development.

Wave's coaching structure and sessions enable clients to make significant strides (process), while the feedback and insights we provide contribute to their clarity and focus (content). Our primary focus is to ensure clients experience growth in their professional lives. With Wave, each wave of coaching propels clients toward specific objectives.

The 4 Key Pillars of Wave's Coaching Approach

Wave's coaching approach is built on four fundamental pillars:

1- Customization: Tailored to Fit Your Preferences. We believe in creating a coaching experience that aligns with each client's unique preferences. This includes choosing between an action-oriented coaching style or a reflective approach, determining the intensity and pace of sessions, selecting suitable tools and content (such as reading materials or listening resources), and even accommodating language preferences. Ultimately, we empower clients to design their ideal coaching experience.

2- Self-reflection: Carving Out Time and Space for Self-Discovery. At Wave, we provide clients with dedicated time and space each week to delve into self-reflection. This practice, known as auto-check, allows individuals to connect with their true selves and process their experiences from the previous week. It forms a vital routine that demonstrates the power of repetition and consistency. These working sessions are compulsory and should be completed consistently.

3- Information: Insights, Data, and Exercises for Progress. Wave equips clients with valuable data, insights, exercises, and recommended reading materials to support their reflection and sustain progress. These resources are thoughtfully organized within the feedback provided by Wave. They can be in various formats, such as videos, text, or slide decks.

Every wave begins by asking clients to rate their current role satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 10. They are then encouraged to identify a coaching objective for the wave, which is also measured on the same scale of 1 to 10. Weekly reassessment of this objective allows clients to track their progress using a dedicated journal and "progress tracker."

4- Experimentation: Driving Progress through Continuous Learning. At Wave, we believe that continuous experimentation leads to growth and transformative change. Therefore, we offer clients a comprehensive set of real-life exercises, practice opportunities, and experimentation suggestions. These enable clients to put their learnings and insights into practice effectively.

Wave's core coaching practice is rooted in executive coaching. However, we also integrate elements of consultancy and auditing practices as needed, based on the client's context. For instance, during the D stage of the RIDE, Wave may pose questions like, "Have you considered scheduling deep-focus sessions to make progress on your strategic plan?" These questions incorporate an element of advice rather than pure coaching, as they draw on our expertise.

To ensure clarity, we always explain the specific approach we are using at any given time with our clients.

Wave will always provide explanations to the client, ensuring they understand the process.

"Here, I'm relying on my own experience and what I've learned from other clients."

Final thoughts

Coaching is a powerful tool that empowers individuals to make positive changes and achieve their desired outcomes. It is a collaborative process that facilitates personal and professional growth, focusing on guiding individuals towards their full potential. Unlike traditional teaching methods, coaching emphasizes learning through self-discovery rather than simply imparting knowledge.

In today's complex and ever-changing world, coaching has become widely recognized and sought after in various domains, including business and personal life. Individuals from all walks of life, including founders, HR and L&D leaders, people managers, and salespeople, are turning to coaching to enhance their growth and development.

Within the coaching partnership, the coach works closely with the client to unlock their potential and help them reach their goals. The coach does not act as an expert in the client's specific field but provides guidance and support throughout the process.

Personal coaching addresses individual issues such as decision-making, career change, and self-confidence development. It helps clients validate their decisions, overcome self-judgment, manage their time effectively, and explore new career paths.

Relationship coaching focuses on improving the quality of relationships with others, such as team members or managers. It helps clients understand the impact of relationships on themselves and enhance relationship dynamics.

Management coaching assists managers in understanding team dynamics and developing leadership and management skills. It also addresses personal balance, stress management, and the creation of a unified team culture.

Leadership coaching is tailored for individuals in leadership positions and focuses on addressing leadership challenges that affect the entire organization. It helps leaders refine their leadership style, influence strategy, structure, teams, and financing.

Coaching, in its diverse forms, provides valuable support for individuals seeking personal and professional growth. Through coaching, individuals can overcome challenges, maximize their potential, and make a positive impact on their organizations and the wider world.

At Wave, we offer a distinctive coaching methodology and tools that are designed to support clients in their growth journey. Our approach combines customization, self-reflection, the provision of insights and exercises, and continuous learning through experimentation. We aim to empower clients to take control of their coaching experience and achieve meaningful progress.

By embracing coaching and partnering with a coach, individuals can embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, learning, and achievement. Coaching enables them to become the best version of themselves and unlock their true potential. Start your coaching journey today and experience the powerful impact it can have on your personal and professional life.

Interested in starting working on your goals? Book your first session now.

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