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Understanding Coaching

Coaching outside the world of sports, especially with regard to lifestyle change, as well as leadership, business and organisational performance is a generally misunderstood and sometimes confusing subject. Part of the confusion stems from the usual comparison of coaching to consulting, mentoring, training, counselling, therapy and others, with which it may have some similarities yet stark contrasts.

In today’s rapidly changing world, the need for coaching in enhancing people and organisational performance has become so much more evident than was the case some years ago. Today, having a professional coach has definitely gone beyond the realm of top sports personalities and preserve of Fortune 500 companies.

Coaching, with its many applications and adaptations is now becoming a “must have” for top organisations, just as it is for individuals, teams, governments and even religious bodies. The fundamental issue is that coaching has become a useful tool and process in establishing and integrating best performance systems for individuals and organisations globally.

However, despite its growing importance, coaching which in 1999 became the industry to grow the second fastest in the world is still occasionally difficult to define. As a result, there is the need to appropriately define coaching as a pathway to its accurate application and evaluation as a development process for people and organisations.

It is important to stress that the skilful adaptation of coaching tools and techniques always improves the performance of people, as it transforms organisations and businesses, especially through the harnessing of talents of personnel. These are the factors that highlight the concept, power and process of coaching. Professional coaching in this regard must be distinguished from the processes of teaching, training, consulting, counseling, therapy and others. And, as the awareness of its benefits increases, important knowledge gaps will be bridged on the power, process and practice of coaching.