Coaching skills – Communities of practice white paper
1 November 2009
The term ‘coaching’ as we refer to it today in terms of personal and professional development is mostly attributed to the late Thomas Leonard who was the first practitioner to call himself a Life Coach. Since then, coaching has spread around the world, and tens of thousands of coaches of various types offer a wide variety of specialist coaching services.
Coaching was born from a number of fields of research and industries including humanistic psychology, counselling, adult education, organisational development and corporate training, consulting, mentoring, sports coaching and the rise of the human potential movement of the 1960s. The ‘toolkit’ used by today’s coaches is made up of information, research, models and strategies which have been developed from these various other professional services for over seventy years.
There are many different ‘styles’ of coaching as there are individuals to assist. This is because the coach is focused on the needs of the client, what they want to achieve, how they learn best, how they may need support and/or challenge, and what tools and strategies may be the most effective for the client. The coach adapts to the needs of the individual, versus their own preferred style of coaching. This means that effective coaching is nearly always customised to the unique situation and needs at any given time.
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