Coaching developed in the 1970's in the USA. It grew from psychotherapy. Therapists realised they were seeing more and more people whom they defined as 'the worried well'. Those attending sessions didn't have mental ill health, as such, they were troubled by thoughts and ideas. The feeling that there must be something more. And so coaching was born.
Over the years it has developed and there are different styles of coaching from directive to non-directive. An underlying principle of coaching is that the coachee has the answers within them. The coaching process enables the person to explore their options and ways of being to find what is right for them, what they can change and how that might be achieved.
The coach does not need to be an expert in the area being coached, although many often are and use a more training, directive delivery. However, coaches do need to be good at asking relevant questions, a listener and reflector. Tim Gallwey, in his book Inner Game of Tennis, demonstrates how the non-expert, can be an effective coach allowing the coachee to draw upon their inner resources and understanding.
Coaching is often associated with performance enhancement, whether that is sport, work or 'life' related. The underlying coaching principles are the same. The GROW model, developed by the late, Sir John Whitmore and Performance Consultants International is often used as a basis for coaching.
It stands for:
G - Goals and aspirations
R - Reality - where you are now
O - Options - what could you do
W - Will - what will you do
It's a framework that allows for exploration, discussion and discovery. The questions asked by the coach throughout the process allow for change and growth to happen. The steps are not rigid, sessions often move from Goals, to Reality and Options, then Goals are revisited and revised.
Then there is also the little matter of how committed you are to taking the actions that you've identified. Usually at the end of GROW, coachees are invited to score their commitment rating from 0 - 10. With 10 being absolutely committed to taking the necessary actions. Your coach will also hold you accountable for the actions you have agreed to undertake, whether that is some research, reading or developing a new product. Sessions are often a month apart to allow the agreed actions to be taken.
You may find my Setting and Achieving Goals mp3 useful.