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- This article refers to the act of coaching people. For sports coaching, see coach (sport). For other uses of the word, see coach (disambiguation) or coaching inn.
A coach is a person who teaches and directs another person via encouragement and advice. This use of the term "coaching" appears to have origins in English traditional university "cramming" in the mid-19th century. (The name allegedly recalls the multitasking skills associated with controlling the team of a horse-drawn stagecoach.) By the 1880s American college sports teams had -- in addition to managers -- coaches. Some time in the 20th century, non-sporting coaches emerged: non-experts in the specific technical skills of their clients, but who nevertheless ventured to offer generalised motivational or inspirational advice.
Current practice in performance coaching in non-sporting environments focuses on non-directive questioning and helping coachees to analyse and address their own challenges rather than offering advice or direction (see Tim Gallwey's The Inner Game of Tennis or Myles Downey's Effective Coaching).
- Main article: personal coaching
When a person coaches an individual client -- often marketed as life coaching -- the initial task involves the coach and client working out a mutual understanding of the scope of work and documenting that understanding in a coaching contract. Then the coach helps the client to prioritise their current performance needs and looks for ways to address any improvements.
Like individual coaching, team coaching focuses on improving performance. In the case of a team, the coach observes the team's current functioning, assesses the team's strengths and weaknesses, and develops a plan for addressing any needed changes.
Systemic coaching focuses on improving the effectiveness and survivability of a human system: usually a couple, family, team or community. A systemic coach assesses a system's functioning (systemic diagnosis) and goals (systemic goalwork) and coaches the members to develop an interactive coaching plan for the members to achieve both individual and systemic goals.
A systemic coaching plan often begins with dissolving transference, guilt and other entanglements between system members; so that the members can communicate resourcefully about all aspects of the system. Individual coaching can be incorporated into systemic coaching.
- Main article: business coaching
Business coaching focuses on helping a business owner to create a distinctive business plan with its own identity. Business coaching can operate in any segment of commerce: from traditional businesses to entrepreneurial start-ups to e-businesses.
Business coaching can also apply to any model of business. For instance, the "franchise" model has the end goal of establishing defined processes that allow the entrepreneur to separate him/herself from the business.
- Main article: dissertation coaching
Dissertation Coaching helps graduate students, who are usually working on their Ph.D.'s, to manage the huge task of researching and writing the dissertation, which is an original contribution to one's field, usually several hundred pages long. Because of poor supervision by their advisors, personal problems, or distance from their universities, many graduate students struggle with this gigantic task. The fact that there are few intermediate deadlines and a lot of free time contributes to difficulty completing the dissertation. A dissertation coach can help the student work on a steady and regular basis, while building his or her career and hunting for a job in academia.
- Palmer, S & Whybrow, A (2007) Handbook of Coaching Psychology. Routledge. ISBN 1583917063 (hb) ISBN 1583917071 (sb)
- Coaching Insider - Online newsmagazine covering the coaching industry
- The Coaching Forums - Independent online community and discussion forums for coaches
- MyPrivateCoach - Portal for coaching resources
- Information about systemic coaching - Articles about systemic and relationship coaching
- Coachville - Hub for life, business, and executive coaches. Articles, teleclasses and resources for coaches and those interested in becoming coaches.
- Articles about coaching
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