According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching is defined as “a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”
According to Fern Gorin, founder of the Life Purpose Institute (operating in the coaching field for 39 years), Coaching is about moving the client from where they are to where they want to be. A client comes to a coach to change, enhance or improve some area of their life, e.g., to lose weight, change jobs, improve a relationship, have better life balance. The coach then establishes outcomes the client wishes to achieve, asks powerful questions, develops a plan, helps the client work through blocks and obstacles and holds the client accountable to achieve that plan.
Coaching varies from consulting in the coach’s role is not to give the client advise or suggestions but rather to empower the client to come up with their own answers. This ensures the client comes up with their own solutions and has a better chance of taking actions and following through with those solutions.
Coaching is also different from counseling in that it is not focused on healing issues from the past, and what happened previously.. Rather, it is proactive and results-driven, focusing on the present and helping people move from this point forward.
Many coaches add a niche or specialty to what they do in addition to providing Life Coaching services. Niches or specialties include Relationship Coaching, Health and Wellness Coaching, Spiritual Coaching, Life Transitions Coaching etc.. They may also target a particular group of people. Life Coaching for mid-life women, Life Coaching for Parents, Life Coaching for busy professionals etc.