Coaching [ˈkəʊtʃɪŋ] noun is the art of enhancing another person’s performance through questions that lead to self-discovery. Coaching is not consulting or mentoring and it is not a euphemism for teaching. However, the best consultants, mentors and teachers do use coaching skills; e.g., active listening, challenging, using open questions to provoke new ideas, reflecting and mirroring back the essence of what the other person has been communicating, giving feedback and telling the hard truth.
Coaching helps people find their own solutions to the toughest problems they face; the kind of problems that don’t have an answer in a book somewhere. Coaching helps people discover why they are struggling with a problem and find the solution that is best for them, even if it looks completely different to another person’s solution to the same problem. A skilled coach does not give advice or offer solutions to her client’s problem, but provides a much more sustainable service; helping the client unlock his or her own solutions.