Professional coaches establish a partner relationship with clients to facilitate the process of personal, career and/or spiritual development. Professional coaching ultimately helps clients achieve missions in their personal and career life.
Coaches are trained to listen and customize their approach to individual client. The coach's job is to help clients to realize their potential and to design their future creatively.
2. What is the difference between "career coaching" and "life coaching"? And, what is "executive coaching"?
Career coaching helps individuals to expand their capabilities (e.g. skills on leadership, presentation, influencing others etc) for their career advancement while life coaching focuses on overcoming other life difficulties or helps clients achieve new personal goals.
In real world, professional coaches would most likely work with the client in these two areas during the time they work together. Coaching is not just a quick fix or short term solution to produce a performance change. The big gift of coaching focuses on client's long term development and achieving their life missions.
Executive coaching is a term used for coaching corporate executives (or clients from senior management level). Executive coaching can cover both career and life coaching.
3. How coaching is different from other similar professions?
Coaching vs. counseling / therapy: Coaching is for individuals who are emotionally and psychological healthy who look for making changes for a better life. Counseling / therapy deal with clinical clients for their emotional or psychological issues.
Coaching vs. consultancy / Mentoring: Coaches primarily work with clients on "partnership" basis and facilitate them to understand their own self deeper and discover possible solutions creatively. Consultants give their expertise advice to their clients to solve problems. Mentors share their experience and knowledge with their mentees for development purposes.
Occasionally, a coach can also act as a consultant or a mentor for their clients. When this happens, the coach needs to ensure the client's awareness on the coach's changed role.
4. What are the core competencies of an ideal professional coach?
Due to commercial concerns and lack of research in the field, it is difficult to find a well established model for core competencies of a professional coach.
We envision that a professional coach should possess the following knowledge / experiences:
Basic psychological theories relevant to the practices of coaching e.g. personality theories, development theories, various assessment models etc.
Understanding on how individuals transform through different life stages and different ways to facilitate the transformation.
Business, management and organizational acumen to facilitate the coaching in clients' work context and to help clients to accomplish their career advancement.
Various skills and techniques in coaching and people development.
Significant life experience that has brought the coach into a "sufficient" mature level through life transformation with a clear life mission for serving others.