The History of Coaching
The etymology of the word “Coach” dates back to the 1550’s when the term was first used by the French/German/Hungarians to define a way to carry someone; a coach pulled by horses. Later in the 1860’s it referred to the railroad cars to transport people and carried on into the aviation age in the 1950’s as a class of service.
Coaching began its use as verb in the 1600’s in Oxford England a Coach was a slang term for tutoring; to carry a student to a successful exam outcome. Finally in the 1860’s Oxford University in England adopted Coaching as the process of preparing someone for academic or athletic success.
Coaching, at any level and for any endeavor, exists to support and challenge the one who is being coached. Whether student, athlete, executive, entrepreneur or just your regular Joe/Joanne, a successful Coaching engagement must support and challenge.
Evolution of Coaching
Coaching evolved out of the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalistic society. More than just technological development, the social structure dramatically changed creating a birth of the middle class and expectation to improve one’s stature in life. Corporations tapped into this desire to maximize growth utilizing an ever expanding tool box of behavioral and organizational development tools.
Modern Coaching has been influenced by many other fields of study including those of personal development, adult education, psychology (sports, clinical, developmental, organizational, social and industrial) and other organizational or leadership theories and practices. Since the mid-1990s, coaching has developed into a more independent discipline and professional associations such as the Association for Coaching, The International Coach Federation, and the European Coaching and Mentoring Council have develop training and certification standards. There are, however, thousands of untrained, self-proclaimed coaches; so buyer beware.
Contemporary Coaching Skills are based on the Socratic Method used by Socrates to expand the thinking of his students. Today Professional Coaches use a range of communication skills (such as targeted restatements, listening, questioning, clarifying etc.) to help clients shift their perspectives and thereby discover different solutions to achieve their goals. These skills are used when coaching clients in any field. In this sense, coaching is a form of ‘meta-profession’ that can apply to supporting clients in any human endeavor, ranging from their concerns in personal, professional, sport, social, family, political, spiritual dimensions, etc.
The 21st Century has seen a new layer of Coaching Skills developed for the ever increasing specialization of our global economy; Advising. Advising is a blend of mentoring and consulting delivered within the context of the Coaching Relationship.
Executive Coaches can add advising to the coaching partnership only when they possess the industry and functional experience of their client.
Coaching Ethics and Standards
One of the challenges in the field of coaching is upholding levels of professionalism, standards and ethics. To this end, many of the coaching bodies and organizations have codes of ethics and member standards and criteria according to which they hold their members accountable in order to protect coaching clients’ interests. Impact Coaches adhere to the International Coach Federation Code of Ethics and Core Competencies.
As previously mentioned various Coaching Associations have been created with the intention to build consistent delivery of Coaching to the public. To be sure Coaching is both an Art and a Science. Although most of the Coaching Associations have advanced the Art of coaching (techniques, terminology, etc.) there is still a very real need for Science. Coaches that possess Advanced Degrees in Organizational Behavior, Organizational Development and Positive Psychology can have an accelerated impact on the individual, team, group and organization development.
There are as many applications for coaching as there are challenges, decisions, issues and opportunities within society. Below are the four generic categories of Coaching. For a full list of Coaching Services offered by Impact Coaching+Advising CLICK HERE
- Executive Coaching is designed to help facilitate professional and personal development to maximize individual growth and improved performance. Coaches need to have a strong understanding of individual differences in a workplace as well as the ability to adapt their coaching style or strategies. It is suggested that those coaches who are unable to acknowledge these differences will do more harm than good. Coaches need to be aware of motivational needs and cultural differences.Executive coaches work their clients towards specific professional goals. These include career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization.Executive Coaching is the category most often aligned with additional Advisory Services.
- Business Coaching is a type of personal or human resource development. It provides positive support, feedback and advice to an individual or group basis to improve their personal effectiveness in the business setting. Business coaching includes executive coaching, corporate coaching and leadership coaching.The Professional Business Coach Alliance, The International Coach Federation, the International Coaching Council and the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches provide a membership-based association for business coaching professionals. There are almost as many different ways of delivering business coaching as there are business coaches. Some offer personal support and feedback, others combine a coaching approach with practical and structured business planning and bring a disciplined accountability to the relationship. Particularly in the small business market, business coaching is as much about driving profit as it is about developing the person.Coaching is not a practice restricted to external experts or providers. Many organizations expect their senior leaders and middle managers to coach their team members to reach higher levels of performance, increased job satisfaction, personal growth, and career development.
- Career Coachingfocuses on work and career or issues around careers. Ultimately the goal is to find the right “fit” for the behavior, motivation and competencies of the client. It is similar in nature to career counseling and traditional counseling. Career coaching is not to be confused with life coaching, which concentrates on personal development. Another common term for a career coach is career guide, although career guides typically use techniques drawn not only from coaching, but also mentoring, advising and consulting. For instance, skills coaching and holistic counseling are increasingly of equal importance to careers.
- Life Coaching marks the reappearance of the Human Potential Movement from the 1960’s. Life coaching draws upon a variety of tools and techniques from other disciplines such as sociology, psychology, positive adult development and career counseling with an aim towards helping people identify and achieve personal goals. Specialty life coaches may have degrees in psychological counseling, hypnosis, dream analysis, marketing and other areas relevant to providing guidance. However, they are not necessarily therapists or consultants; psychological intervention and business analysis may lie outside the scope of some coaches’ work. Many life-coach training-schools and -programs operate worldwide, providing options (classroom attendance or home study) for the individual who wants to gain a certificate or diploma and to take up paid work in the field of life coaching. Many certificates and a few diplomas are available within the profession.
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