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”. This makes coaching a rather cooperative relationship between the coach and the client (the coachee) to improve the latter’s life where need be. Coaching involves a dialogue between both coach and coachee while having the coachee’s best interest in the spotlight. In coaching, the coachee is believed to be resourceful, creative, and capable to advance forward and find the best means to do it.
The coach takes on the role of an assistant or a facilitator, who clarifies the coachee’s agenda, identifies options, helps in creating a plan for action, and holds the coachee accountable for self-made promises. The coach, also, helps the coachee gain more awareness, find out one’s passions, make conscious choices, and achieve a more satisfying and meaningful life. The coach is unique in providing ongoing support and empowerment to the coachee. Being trained and equipped with various skills, the coach listens, observes, clarifies values, and gives feedback to the coachee. The coach, then, is an advocate, a cheerleader, a sounding board, an accountability partner, a supporter, a resource for information, and a truth teller.
Coaching is a relatively new service – more of a luxury service – that has only grown during the last two decades. The benefits of coaching have been repeatedly reported on CNN, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, Oprah, and others. It blends the best concepts from psychology, business, philosophy, spirituality, and sports. More people are hiring coaches now-a-days; and so are more executives and corporations.
It is worth mentioning that Coaches follow the ICF standards of ethical conduct and are bound by the ICF pledge of ethics.