What Is Coaching?

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What Is Coaching?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."

Coaching is different from other types of mentoring or training, the ICF notes: "Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change."

Types of Coaching Offered

  • Executive Coaching - Coaching for top-level managers to improve strategic decision-making, leadership, and executive presence.
  • Career and Leadership Development Coaching - Coaching for people at all organizational levels who want to find a job, transition to the next rung on the career ladder, change careers, develop leadership skills, or get back into the job market after a break from work.
  • Personal Development Coaching - Coaching that deals with the client's life in all its dimensions – personal life, professional life, health, and relationships. Often life coaches will help a client with work-related goals, but will also make sure to take the other aspects of a client’s life into consideration.
  • Resume/LinkedIn Review & Enhancement – Work with a certified coach to review and enhance your resume and cover letter or LinkedIn profile for maximum impact.
  • Interview Skills Development – Whether you are interviewing for positions now or just want to brush up on techniques and strategies for future opportunities, work with a certified coach to develop interview skills that make you stand out from the crowd.

What to Expect

Coaches will:

  • Give you a safe space to have a confidential conversation
  • Treat you with respect
  • Offer unbiased opinions and professional insight, and guide you to helpful resources
  • Give you tips to leverage current skills in new ways and/or gain new skills

Coaches will not:

  • Give you detailed directions on what to do with your life
  • Find a job for you

How to prepare for a coaching session

  • Think about what drove your decision to make a professional coaching appointment
  • Be prepared to share what you hope to gain from the experience
  • Be honest
  • Come with an open mind
  • Be prepared to listen