What is Coaching? Part 2

Written by Michael Jospe Posted in Professional Coaching

Part 2: The Role of the Professional Coach

What is Coaching? Part 2

Coaching is a profession that capitalizes on health and vitality - not pain, disease, victimization, and suffering. Additionally, Professional Coaches understand that models, tools and assessments are ways to help clients gain awareness of themselves. Any motivation clients experience from an assessment or a tool is not borne of the assessment, tool or even the coach - the motivation arises from the awareness that is gained or the internal conflict that is resolved as a result of the self-reflection inherent to the model. A Professional Coach strives to be skilled at noticing that motivation, highlighting it and helping clients harness it to achieve their goals. 

There are “coaches” out there that believe coaching is all about giving advice, accountability, cheerleading, and road mapping clients' future for them. This kind of approach does not honer the client as the creator of their own future! The core skill of a Professional Coach is listening. To deeply listen means to let go of assumptions, agenda, and judgement. Coaching is not consulting. Though you may have expertise in an area of life that your client is attracted to, unless you are being hired as an consultant to give advice on that matter, your presence is as a listener - not an advice giver.

If there is an agenda for the Professional Coach, it is: to help clients identify motivating and relevant goals for whatever the issue is that they are seeking support for, to help the client create greater self-awareness, to help the client identify manageable and measurable steps towards their goal, and to hold the client accountable for their actions (but in a way that creates greater awareness). If in their work with a client the coach overlooks the importance of client-centered goals, he or she may be crossing the line into therapy. Or, if the coach overlooks the importance of creating awareness and working with limiting beliefs and patterns, he or she could be crossing the line towards the world of consulting. If you cross both lines - well, I’m not sure what you're doing, but is certainly not coaching.  

As a Professional Coach, your role is not to motivate a client - it is to help clients find and harness their own commitment and motivation. Your role is not to heal the client. It is to help them find their own wisdom, strength and healing. Your role is not to fix the issue or solve the problem. Instead, your role is to support the client's discovery of the pathway to a resolution that truly works for who they are and the life that is calling them.

While Professional Coaching can be applied to a varied clientele, from those seeking business or executive coaching to those seeking life and wellness coaching, all Professional Coaches strive to master the same competencies of skills and understanding, as outlined by the ICF, as well as adhere to the ICF Code of Ethics. As long as the coach is practicing the outlined competencies and adhering to ethical boundaries, how one applies Professional Coaching is entirely dependent upon one’s unique creative calling for supporting growth and change in others. This may sound restrictive, but it’s actually not. After careful review of the competencies and code of ethics, you will see how practical, open ended and motivating these guidelines are.

Earth-Based Institute’s Nature-Connected Coach training program offers those students who have a deep love for Nature and passion for working with others a professional career path.  While the skills and competencies of Professional Coaching are central to our curriculum, our training program transcends standard coach training. We teach our students how intentional interactions with nature combined with the skills of Professional Coaching supports long-term growth and change in a powerful, profound, and life-altering way.

Apply Now

Learn more about our programs

About the Author