Coaching: What is it and do you need it?

When my inner toddler overrules my inner CEO (Check out the CEO and the toddler)

Coaching has almost become a buzzword in the self-help industry. While many people have heard of someone with a coach, not many people understand what exactly coaching is and how it can help this. This article aims to help shed light on coaching and its purpose.

One thing our parents forgot to tell us about being adults is how much is expected of us. When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I wanted nothing more than to be ‘the grown-up’ and not have to listen to anyone. I was sick and tired of people telling me what to do. 

Now, sometimes I wish I had someone to tell me what to do. Not that I don’t know what to do. For example, I should have started this article last week. But when I have the option to do anything else that could be more interesting, writing an article doesn’t seem like something I want to spend a few hours on. That’s where coaching comes in. 

Does that mean a coach is someone who tells you what to do? Not exactly

What is coaching?

A coach is a facilitator of change. Coaching is, therefore, a developmental process where a coach assists their coachee in achieving their goals e.g., personal, financial, work, business, etc. Many professional coaches undergo training to help them learn how to implement changes in their lives, achieve their goals effectively, and help their clients do the same. 

There are many ways to define coaching besides this. Perhaps you may relate to this quote by Sir John Whitmore:

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” — Sir John Whitmore


Coaching can help you make the changes you have always wanted but didn’t know how to achieve. It can help you define what’s important in your life, set priorities, and finally, take action on those things that have always been important but that you’ve never acted on.

Is a coach your new boss?

Feeling positive about your day before realizing everything you need to do

No, they are not your new boss. The best way to understand what a coach does is to look at it from a sporting aspect. Let’s say I am the coach of a football team, and I have a recruit. Every player has their strengths and weaknesses, and so does the new player. They also have blindspots that the coach, from training or experience, can help them identify. The coach’s goal is to help their players improve their performance. 

Life coaching or any other type of coaching is similar to sports coaching, only with less whistle-blowing and shouting (depending on the sport). Additionally, life coaching is very client-focused. Coaches believe their clients have all the answers with them and employ different techniques to help them bring them out. Coaches, therefore, take their lead from the client in terms of what the client’s needs are.

Speciality coaching, like ADHD coaching or confidence coaching, means the coach has experience and/or training in that field. 

How does the coach help you:

Stop waiting for inspiration – A coach can help you take more action in your life

A coach will help you find your own answers.

Your desires and needs are unique to you. So are the answers to your questions about yourself and your life, like why you react to particular situations in a particular way and what motivates you. A coach will help you find the answers to these questions. 

A coach will help you find your own solutions.

There is rarely a one-size-fits-all strategy for our problems. There is no singular solution to procrastination, lack of motivation, poor organization, or any of the Executive functioning skills we discussed. Did you know that an estimated 15,000 self-help books are published annually in the US? If 100 or 1000 of these books held the ultimate truth, more books would not need to be written or published. Even though there is no universal solution to your problems, there is a solution that works for you, and a coach can help you find it. 

A coach will help you take action. 

Many people have experienced being good athletes, healthier, or even more disciplined within a school setting but find it hard to replicate those habits outside of school. That’s because they had someone to hold them to account. A coach helps you take action by keeping you accountable, just like teachers did to us in school. 

A coach will help you achieve your goals. 

By holding you accountable for the actions you commit to, a coach will help you move towards and eventually achieve your goals. 

A coach will help you stay motivated. 

Many people can relate to the experience of starting a new habit with a lot of enthusiasm but eventually dropping it off. Various statistics suggest that only 9 – 12% of people feel they successfully kept their New Year’s resolutions.  What happens to the other percentage of people? A coach will help you stay motivated toward your goals and habits when tempted to quit. 

A coach will help you redesign your plans. 

For many of us, our goals are not new to us. They have been carried forward from our past. We probably tried to work on them in the past but failed due to one reason or another. A coach can help you redesign your plans when the original ones fail so you give up on failing strategies, not the goal itself.

A coach will be your cheerleader and help you celebrate your wins. 

Talk to many people at the end of the year, and they will tell you how many things they wish to improve the next year. We often forget to celebrate our achievements, making us feel like we are not progressing. Working with a coach means having someone to point out your wins regularly and celebrate with you. 

Who is coaching for?

Me. Coaching is for me. ???

There are many different types of coaches helping clients in different areas of their lives. There are career, relationship, family, goal setting, time management, executive, ADHD coaches, etc. So, how do you know if coaching is for you?

Coaching is for you if you

  1. Want to make long-lasting changes in your life and want help doing so,
  2. Want help setting and achieving your goals,
  3. Need help in a particular aspect of your life,
  4. Feel you are not living up to your potential,
  5. Want someone to hold you accountable,
  6. Have failed in a particular area in the past and don’t want to do so again, or
  7. Want someone who has experienced what you are experiencing

The typical coaching process

The coaching process

The coaching process typically follows the following 5 step process.

Establishing the starting point. (discovery)

 This will serve as a reference point when the coach and client evaluate how effective the coaching process was at the end of the coaching process. Some coaches consider this step 0 in the coaching process.

Establishing the purpose and goals for the coaching contract (orientation)

In many instances, the coach and client must agree on the goal or goals they will be working on for the duration of the coaching process. Working on every aspect of a person’s life would be nearly impossible. If clients require assistance in several aspects, they may go through the coaching process several times, focusing on a few goals each time.

Creating a plan to achieve the goals established in step 2. (Goal setting and action planning)

The coach and the client may explore different solutions to the problem before settling on the most effective and sustainable solution.

This involves executing the plan established in step 3. (Review, adapt, adust)

Many of the coaching sessions fall under this step. The coach and the client agree on what the client should do between sessions. The coach may check in with the client between sessions if that is in their agreement. Feedback from the client’s progress between sessions informs the following sessions. In that sense, coaching becomes a reiterative process where the feedback from the implementation is used to review, assess and adjust the plan to come up with the next steps.  

Closing the coaching process. (closure)

Here, the coach and client assess the success or failure of the coaching process with reference to the starting point established in step one. Closure can go in one of three ways.

  1. The coach and client agree that the coaching process was successful and, therefore, end the coaching relationship. Some coaches can offer to check in on the client after a set period to see if the changes implemented ‘stuck’ after the closure of the process.
  2. The coach and client open a new coaching process to work on new goals. This often means signing a new coaching contract for the new goals.
  3. The coach and client agree that the coaching relationship is not working and, therefore, agree to end the contract. 

In conclusion

A coach is a person who helps you to design your life, implement changes in line with these plans and stick to your plans so you can achieve your dreams. Coaching can help you make the changes you have always wanted but didn’t know how to achieve. It can help you define what’s important in your life, set priorities, and finally, take action on those things that have always been important but that you’ve never acted on. 

A simple way to know if you need coaching is if you want to make changes in your life but are unsure where to begin or have tried and failed to do so in the past. 

If you find the concept of coaching appealing, consider signing up for coaching with me. You can book your free 30-minute consultation by following this link. You can also learn more about my services by visiting my service page

Thank you for sticking to the end. Feel free to share this article with someone you think may need it. You can also leave a comment in the comment section. Your feedback is highly appreciated. 

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