What is coaching?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as: “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.

Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA) defines coaching as “a professional, collaborative and outcomes-driven method of learning that seeks to develop an individual and raise self-awareness so that he or she might achieve specific goals and perform at a more effective level”.

A coach is a thinking partner to accelerate learning and development. Coaches seek to empower others through igniting their thinking, increasing their insight and developing their self-awareness in order to take new actions in their lives.

Coaching does not work with the treatment of mental health problems. It focuses on well-being rather than pathology.

The study of coaching ultimately aims to benefit individuals, their organisations and society as a whole.

There are many different types of coaches, directed towards enhancing performance and development in a variety of spheres of human activity. Coaches therefore work in a range of contexts – corporate companies, entrepreneurial start-ups, government and non-governmental organisations, educational institutions and private practice.

Coaching is a developing profession that is still in its infancy. Aspiring coaches therefore need to take responsibility to equip themselves to be competent, ethical and knowledgeable practitioners.