Tapping Into the Benefits of Coaching


What does coaching involve?

As an International Certified Coach, coaching involves as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential".  The coaching process involves collaborating with the client to support them in achieving their goals. It involves building trust through a regular cadence of confidential conversations. The client's role involves setting goals and bringing any challenges faced along the way to the coaching conversations to discuss.

The International Coaching Federation describes professional coaching as a relationship where the "coach honors the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to":

  • "Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve"
  • "Encourage client self-discovery"
  • "Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies"
  • "Hold the client responsible and accountable"
  • "This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential." 

What type of coaches are there?

There are coaches that exist across all topic areas.  Coaches typically fall into one of two over arching categories: life and business coaches. Within those categories, there are coaches in the fields of leadership, health and wellness, interpersonal relationships, strategic planning, career/job planning, personal development, team coaching, and communications skills


What does coaching ask of a coaching client?

Coaching requires the client self reflect on their beliefs, behaviours, and hidden assumptions.  It often involves a lot of inner work that builds from one session to the next. For a client to get as much value as possible from coaching it is important that between coaching sessions that they: 

  • Commit time and energy to the process and be open to the coaching process.
  • Tap into their strengths to overcome limitations to develop their own approach to winning. 
  • Focus on one’s self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one’s success.
  • Observe the behaviors and communications of others.
  • Be bold and take decisive actions even if it is uncomfortable and requires rising above personal insecurities to reach one's goals.
  • Listen to one’s intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.
  • Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one’s goals in a superior way.
  • Show compassion for one’s self while learning new behaviors and experiencing challenges, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.

Within the partnership of a coach and a client, what role does each party play?

The International Coaching Federation defines the role of the coach and the client as follows:

The Coach:

  • "Provides objective observations that foster the individual’s or team’s self-awareness and awareness of others";
  • "Actively listens to understand the individual’s or team’s circumstances";
  • "Acts as a sounding board in exploring possibilities and implementing thoughtful planning and decision making";
  • "Advocates and encourages the client to stretch to fully tap into personal strengths and aspirations";
  • "Fosters shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives";
  • "Challenges blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the creation of alternative scenarios";
  • "Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the coaching profession’s code of ethics."


The Client:

  • "Creates the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals";
  • "Uses assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others";
  • "Envisions personal and/or organizational success";
  • "Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions";
  • "Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives";
  • "Takes courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations";
  • "Engages big-picture thinking and problem-solving skills";
  • "Takes the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach and engages in effective forward actions".

What is the ROI (return on investment) from coaching to the organization?

Based on a global survey of coaching clients by PriceWaterhouseCooopers and the Association Center the return on investment, from coaching is 7 times the initial investment, with over a quarter reporting an ROI of 10 to 49 times.  The tangible and intangible impacts of coaching are summarized below: