From early forms of transportation i.e., stage coach
or rail coach, the word “Coaching” literally means to
transport someone from one place to
One thing that all forms of coaching seem to have in
common is that people are using it to help them move
forward or create change.
Put simply, coaching is a conversation, or series of
conversations, one person has with another. The
person who is the coach intends to produce a
conversation that will benefit the other person (the
coachee) in a way that relates to the coachee’s
learning and progress.
The person who decides whether a conversation was a
coaching conversation or not is normally the person
who is being coached.
If someone acknowledges the following to be true after
a conversation, then they would probably accept that
it was coaching:
The focus of the
conversation was primarily themselves and their
thinking, actions and learning benefited significantly
from the conversation
were unlikely to have had those benefits in thinking
or learning within that time frame if the conversation
had not happened.
Where does coaching come from?
The most recognized forms of coaching come from the
sporting world. The figure of a sports coach
working alongside top athletes is accepted without
There may seem to be a contradiction in having someone
who can’t do what you can do, as well as you can do
it, to help you improve.
For example – Roger Federer’s coach can’t play tennis
like Federer does and yet he plays a vital role in
improving Federer’s game. So why does Federer
get help from a lesser player?
The reason is quite simple: Because coaching is
proven to work. It improves the results an individual
A tennis coach needs coaching skills more than they
need to be a good tennis player
By applying the principles of observation and
feedback, sports coaches can make the difference
between a world beater and an also ran.
The same principle applies in business. Coaches
work alongside individuals to help improve their
performance at work, regardless of whether or not they
could do that work themselves.
What a coach can do is to help someone see
opportunities for improvements as well as practical
Extract from “The Coaching Manual” by Julie
Manual: The Definitive Guide to the Process,
Principles & Skills of Personal Coaching