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What is Coaching?

So, you have signed up on this course all about coaching. But what do you think coaching is?

Take a moment now to note down your own thoughts.

Now take a look at the following definitions of coaching:

“Unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them” (Whitmore 2003)

“The art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another” (Downey, 2003)

“A collaborative, solution focused, result-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and person growth of the coachee” (Association for Coaching, 2005).

“Coaching is a relationship of rapport and trust in which the coach uses their ability to listen, to ask questions and play back what the client has communicated in order to help the client to clarify what matters to them and to work out what to do to achieve their aspirations’ (Thomson, 2014: 10).

'Coaching is a method of work-related learning that relies primarily on one-to-one conversations.' (de Haan, 2008)

'[Coaching may be defined as] a human development process that involves structured, focused interaction an the use of appropriate strategies, tools and techniques to promote desirable and sustainable change for the benefit of the coachee and potentially other stakeholders.' (Cox, Bachirova and Clutterbuck, 2010)

'Coaching is a partnership of equals whose aim is to achieve speedy, increased and sustainable effectiveness through focused learning in every aspect of a client's life. Coaching raises self-awareness and identifies choices. Working to the client's agenda, the coach and client have the sole aim of closing the gaps between potential and performance' (Rogers, 2012)

Having reviewed these definitions, what do you think coaching has to offer work experience? Are there any words or phrases which particularly strike you as helpful or problematic in the context of your work?

How do these statements compare with your own one to one interactions with students? Please use the comments function below to share your thoughts.


Before the course

Between now and 10 June, please keep a journal which captures your own reflections on your one to one interactions with students. What was the students' presenting issue? What went well? what could hve been better? What were the outcomes? As you work through these materials, your thoughts and reflections are likely to become richer and more detailed. You won't need to share the notes themselves with others, but we will draw out some themes in discussion.