We see the word “coach” everywhere – online, in advertisements, across social media. It isn’t industry protected, and it is often used as a shortcut for anyone who wants to identify as somebody who can help someone. But what does it mean to be a coach? 

Let’s do some myth-busting and talk about what coaching is and isn’t.

What is Coaching?

A coach, in its simplest sense, is somebody who works with a client to help them move towards their goals. Sometimes, it isn’t so black and white; coaches often blend modalities to suit their clients, their needs, and their interests. But for today, we will focus on pure coaching.

Pure coaching is a forward-focused intervention. It revolves around goal or intention setting, supporting a client in gaining clarity and confidence in the here and now so that they can adapt their way of thinking to move forward. Often, coaches work with the internal barriers of a client, but, unlike counsellors, they avoid looking into the past – only when it’s vital to understanding the future.

Coaching Versus Mentoring

There are many different terms for those who work on helping others, and the definitions are often misconstrued. Often, we expect coaches to be experts in our field, knowing everything and anything about the future path we are willing to take, but this is not a necessity. It is mentors that demand experience – they are there to share with you their journey. For coaches, they don’t even have to be in your field – in fact, research shows that coaches working in a different field to their client are often the most successful, because they have a heightened sense of curiosity. 

Sharing my Experience with Coaching

Recently, I had a client on a discovery call ask me: What do coaching sessions look like? I explained that coaching is all about checking in to see what’s going on with you at that moment. It’s about tuning into your energy – your tonality, the way you speak, the feelings you express – and asking those open questions. What do you think is going on there? Is there something you’re holding in?

And it’s true – coaching isn’t always what people expect, because it’s not about me demanding you take action; it’s about exploring your internal processes and using that to develop your future growth. I work with clients to see what their long-term success looks like, but it’s ultimately what they want to bring to the session, not what I want to push upon them. It’s about listening deeply as they share their vulnerabilities – their thoughts, feelings and behaviours – as they gain clarity over their situation. They make that final decision themselves – as a coach, I simply empower them to make their own choice.

If you haven’t experienced pure coaching before, I would highly recommend it. It’s a great way to take ownership of what’s going on in your life to move forwards successfully towards your goals. My blog about tuning into your real passion also might be helpful – Tuning into your true passion.

And if you’re interested in training as a coach, don’t forget to check out Kudzi Coach Academy, where I run my own training school to teach you all the skills you need to succeed as a coach – click here to find out more.