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What is Coaching?

Taking the time to look inwards allows for focus, progression, and success.


Self-development is important both personally and professionally, with coaching the ideal technique to find clarity and awareness of our future goals. And whilst many of us may think we have an understanding of coaching, there are often misconceptions of the process and the idea itself. Coaching can be used across many sectors and is used equally effectively in both the boardroom and the classroom.

Let’s look closely at this popular technique to understand the process of coaching and, perhaps more importantly, find out what coaching is not.

What does coaching look like?

Coaching, fundamentally, is the process used to extract, and encourage the use of, unlocked potential, to allow a person to perform at their best. Coaching focuses on the present. It’s not the job of a coach to provide answers but rather to allow the participant to discover the answers they already hold. A coach guides and facilitates to enable these discoveries, unlocking the potential for performance at a higher level.

An important component of coaching is trust. The trust of the coach enables the client to fully embrace the process and have faith in the knowledge of the coach and the techniques used. The trust of the client informs the coach that the process will be entered into with respect and willingness. This mutual relationship between coach and client is unique and is essential for the coaching process to work.

Is coaching just another name for therapy?

It is easy to understand why many may believe coaching to be a form of therapy, however they are very much two different things. Therapy, or counselling, focuses on the emotional impact of the past, looking to resolve issues that are forming barriers to the future. Coaching takes a more pragmatic approach; looking to the future and asking key questions with the aim of self-improvement and development. Questions centre around the ‘how’: how can I move forward from this? How can I reach my ultimate goal?

What is the difference between coaching and teaching?

A coach asks questions. A coach listens. And a great coaching session is all about the participant.

Providing a safe space in which a client can be vulnerable creates the perfect environment for the silencing of the inner critic, allowing an individual's natural instincts to inform them of their capabilities. This is not teaching. A teacher takes on the role of expert and imparts knowledge onto their students. The coaching relationship is mutual and does not involve the traditional student-teacher hierarchy.

Now you’re equipped with the basics, don’t miss our future posts, where we’ll be delving deeper into the type of coaching we offer at The Education Coach, the benefits of coaching in the educational sector, and why coaching and a work-life balance go hand in hand.

If you’re interested in learning more about the services we offer at The Educational Coach, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

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