Management & Leadership

Understanding the Five Different Types of Coaching

Mar 17, 2021
Understanding the Five Different Types of Coaching

Coaches don’t tell you what to do. They don’t give you a long list of things to tick off. Instead, you will be asked to analyse, reflect and then take action as coaching is a learning conversation. The intended result of a coaching process is to enable you to better achieve success in one of more areas of your personal and/or work life. We’ll look at the 5 main types of coaching.

“Coaching is a reflective learning process.”

There are 5 main types of coaching:

  1. Executive Coaching
  2. Career Coaching
  3. Skills Coaching
  4. Relationship Coaching
  5. Personal Life Coaching

While the focus behind the coaching differs, all coaching is typically reflective rather than directive in manner. The Business coaching category includes executive, career and skills coaching. Relationship coaching focuses on everything from communication through to stress management and emotional wellness, such that it is a mix between personal and work life. And life coaching focuses on personal outcomes.

“Coaching can be focused on career or personal or both.”

5 Types of Coaching Unpacked

1. Executive Coaching

Those in leadership positions are targeted by executive coaching, such as senior managers and directors, where performance development is a key concern. It is also called leadership or performance coaching.

The focus of Executive Coaching is:

  • Enhancing performance
  • Taking talents and abilities to a new level
  • Helping someone to adjust to new situations or a transition

Within one-on-one sessions, clients are afforded an opportunity to reflect and develop a personal awareness of their strengths and work on weaknesses or specific issues they find challenging. This process can be a powerful platform for improving performance in work environments.

2. Career Coaching

Career coaching is for anyone who is just starting out on a career or years into one and wants to advance or make changes in their career.

The focus of Career Coaching is:

  • Skills assessment
  • Understanding the job market
  • Understanding organisational processes
  • Identifying opportunities and career-based roles that are “good fits”
  • Developing career transition plans

The career coaching process helps clients understand the world of work and their own personal development. Within this space, coaches assist clients in establishing a career action place with, the intent of enhancing employability.

3. Skills Coaching

Aiding the enhancement of existing performance through attaining set deliverables and goals, Skills Coaching focuses on:

  • Identifying and refining career goals
  • Flagging objectives within existing roles
  • Recognising personal and career development needs
  • Upskilling to enable better performance linked to achieving specific tasks

Skills coaching sessions involve one-on-one programmes, which are tailored to a specific individual’s knowledge, experience, maturity and ambition. The focus is on achieving both individual and company objectives. The coaches who run these programmes, typically possess qualifications and experience in the areas in which the skills-transfer coaching is offered.

4. Relationship Coaching

Relationship coaching aims to assist individuals, couples and groups build healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

The focus of Relationship Coaching is to address existing or potential challenges in relationships by:

  • Questioning assumptions
  • Identifying behavioural patterns
  • Setting clear and healthy relationship boundaries
  • Uncovering new listening mechanisms
  • Assisting with ways to better express feelings and views

Those embarking on this type of coaching will work through conflict resolution and effective communication techniques, stress management and ways to augment their emotional wellness.

5. Personal Life Coaching

This type of coaching intends to support individuals who wish to make some form of significant change happen in their lives.

Personal Life coaches help clients to:

  • Explore what they want in life
  • Define attainable dreams and aspirations
  • Find answers and ways to achieve their goals
  • Highlight and understand their own potential, skills and talents

“Coaching will enable you to discover and utilise your strengths.”

This type of coaching assists individuals to discover answers based on their own values, preferences and perspectives. It is a more reflective than directive process, which attempts to instil knowledge by asking questions and challenging clients to find answers from within themselves.

Whatever your personal attributes, strengths or interests, there is a coaching role for you. Explore your options of  studying coaching through SACAP. SACAP offers a range of coaching courses, all of which are accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and aligned with COMENSA standards. For more information, enquire now.

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