What exactly is coaching?…

Founder | Connie S K Leung

A Transformational Experience that Makes you a More Effective Leader and a Better Happier Person   

It may be much easier to first understand what coaching is not…

Coaching is not consulting

Consultants come in as experts in the field for the company to deliver answers to existing challenges. However, they don’t know your business and their solution may not fit well. Typically, they leave a recommendation for the client to implement.

Coaching is not mentoring

Mentors are typically “friendly roles” – someone who are more experienced, may or may not be in your field but could share with you experience, insights and even network. They are someone who could bounce off ideas in a casual context. They could be colleagues, alumni or someone from an official mentor system in the company, but all in all, they are informal, unpaid and not obliged to deliver results.

Coaching is not counseling

Counsellors, typically with psychology or social work background, are best trained to handle individuals’ emotional or deeper personal issues that affect them. Counsellors work to support clients in dealing with their personal problems.

Coaching is not training 

Training is usually one to many with workshop or classroom type sessions aiming to transfer knowledge or help students pick up certain new skills by teaching using course materials that often do not get frequently updated in the current rapidly changing environment. Learning goals are general and typically one size fits all. The trainer is knowledgeable, and the training course is likely to create an immediate impact but does little in terms of follow up, making the effectiveness of such learning not sustainable.


The true essence of coaching:

Coaching utilize a methodology to help coachees identify the fundamental problem by asking questions and reflecting, bringing in fresh perspectives, reframing the problem at hand and creatively seeking out options to solve it. It is a journey for two partners in growth, where the coach works to create clarity around the development goals (for the individual and for the company in the case of corporate coaching) and clearly defining them.

Coaches help mobilize the inner energy of the coachees, unleash their potential and support them in their moments of doubt during the journey. Coaches supports a development plan to be put into action with changed mindset and behaviors. Coaches strongly believe that individuals, under coaching guidance, have the true ability to find the answers and solve their own problems.

Coachees learn and go from good to great and from great to excellent. Everyone needs a good coach and very often it has been misunderstood that top performers can’t express the need for coaching as it may be seen as a stigma and mis-interpreted as a sign of weakness. In fact, very smart and successful leaders have used coaches.

For coachees, coaches who understand their world, speak their “language” and appreciate their thrills and challenges are likely to quickly build trust and partner together to create that relationship that facilitates transformation and growth. Sometimes that professional relationship lasts beyond the coaching journey and bleeds into friendship.

Leading coaching institutions and communities have defined coaching as…

ICF (International Coach Federation):

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

ICC (International Coaching Community):

Coaching unlocks a person’s potential to maximize their performance. Coaching helps them to learn rather than teaching them.

ICA (International Coaching Academy)’s founder/CEO:

Coaching offers a deeper process of learning and self-discovery, which results in a positive, sustainable and accountable difference in people’s lives and work.

Coaching truly is life changing for many and it is tremendously rewarding for us, as executive coaches, to watch how we could make a point of difference in people ‘s lives. As some puts it… Coaching is “Life transforming life.”

Connie S K Leung

Published on July 26, 2018