About Coaching

Introduction to the Coaching Profession

Coaching as a practice is very young and is made up of practitioners from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds, from business consulting, Human Relations (HR) and Organizational Development (OD), and training, to sports, education, and philosophy, to any number of psychological disciplines such as industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, and social psychology. Given the varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives coaches bring, it is not surprising to see a lack of consensus about definitions, methods, and techniques. 

Basic Concepts in Coaching

What skills are necessary to good coaching? Here are some of the most basic skills we need in order to engage in coaching conversations.

  • Active Listening to assure the listener that you are hearing what they are saying.
  • Three levels of listening and the benefits of operating at the higher levels.
  • Recognizing the Saboteur and eliminating your limiting beliefs.
  • The Appreciative Inquiry approach to improvement which builds upon the positive as opposed to starting from a premise of what is wrong.
  • Championing – showing that you believe in the client and his/her abilities.
  • Read more about Basic Concepts in Coaching Practices

Coaching Competencies

There are a number of prescribed competency models, from general categorizations to elaborate manifestos, to help guide one’s coaching practice. We offer a few competency models provided by some of the big names in coaching to point you in the right direction as you get started. We have provided a basic outline of the competencies described by prominent coaching organizations (ICF, IAC, and WBAC). This information is not exhaustive, but is meant to convey the kinds of skills coaches need to develop. 

About Coaching - A Deeper Dive

For additional information, we have compiled summaries and specific resources in response to our affiliate's most frequently searched topics, as noted below. Let us know what additional resources and information you'd like to see. 

  • Coaching, counseling and mentoring
  • Coaching and psychotherapy
  • Types of coaching
  • Selecting a coach
  • Internal versus external coaching
  • When to use an internal coach
  • Challenges and opportunities with internal coaching
  • The coaching relationship
  • Coaching models
  • Ethics in coaching
  • Diversity in coaching
  • Boundaries and barriers in coaching
  • Read more about core coaching concepts