Coaching is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful tools in human development. It is used in business for managers, executives and teams to improve business performance. Also, many people are using coaches to help them get a better life, to be more happy, to have better relationships, to plan their career and to achieve financial success.

What is coaching and why is it so powerful?

The essence of coaching is to help a person change in the way they wish and helping them to go in the direction they want to go. Coaching supports a person at every level in becoming who they want to be and being the best they can be.

Coaching concentrates on the present and the future. It helps a person evaluate their life in the light of their intentions.
They explore the present and then design the future they want.
Coaching helps people with what they want to do – that is to set goals both in the short and long term.
Coaching helps people with why they want these things – to connect with their deepest values and motivate themselves.
Coaching helps people with how they achieve their goals – to make a powerful action plan.

There are three main reasons why coaching is significant for human development.

First, the client owns the result. Client and coach are accountable for the process, but the client alone takes responsibility for the result.

Secondly coaching is based on action. Coach and client agree how the client will act differently.

Thirdly, the coach helps the client learn rather than teaching them. Coaching is different to training or teaching. It is different to mentoring and managing. It is also different to counselling and therapy, because in coaching, the client does not have feel there is any thing wrong with them. Coaching helps people achieve their highest potential.

Coaching has traditionally been associated with sports. Now, it is quite normal for someone to see a coach to help them achieve their goals in their life and work.

Coaching has many benefits. A person will be more productive, more creative. They have a more balanced life, it is very important to balance work and personal life.

Executives in particular can benefit a great deal from coaching. When a top executive is more focused and effective, this will make a big difference to the business. Also, top executives often are lonely, they have no one with which to talk things over, they are supposed to know all the answers and they have great responsibilities.

Coaching is also evidence of the company’s commitment to developing its people and contributes to a supportive organisational culture with high morale.

It is the most cost effective way of targeting resources at precisely the places and individuals that need them. No surprise that coaching is growing so fast world wide.

© 2004 Joseph O’Connor and Andrea Lages

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