Before we set out definitions, it may be worth providing some context so we can come off the same page.
Because the person or organisation that pays is normally referred to as ‘the client’, the word ‘coachee’ is invariably reserved for the person being coached.
There are numerous disciplines from which coaches may work, just as there are many different types of counselling methods. All the best methods rely on the Principle Instruments of Coaching*, namely, listening, questions (Including challenge) and Self-reflective (SR) silence. It is in SR silence that the most dramatic leaps of understanding occur due to the product of self-reflective inspiration.
You do NOT need any NLP skills to be a truly outstanding coach.
Coaching is often conducted on a 1-2-1 basis but the skills are widely used by managers in informal conversations with colleagues at all levels – these skills improve working relationships, motivation and effectiveness.
In coaching, the level of risk and pace of sessions are entirely up to the coachee. Also, the coach does not usually provide advice.
The process of coaching teases out new choices and helps the coachee to establish a new strategy in which they have a realistic confidence of success.
The coachee’s success leads to raised self-confidence and soon the coachee is functioning at new levels of motivation and ability. This is not just a peak of activity and performance but new ways of effective working that are sustained long after the coaching sessions have been completed.
Most of us prefer not to be told what to do and this inspires independence. Classical mentoring in which advice and experience is shared typically leads to a level of dependence as the coachee is not learning to think for themselves to the same degree.
To find out more about what coaching looks like (video) as well as an explanation for coaching skills and video showing those levels, link here.
In brief contracts or when working via email, it may be necessary for the coach to offer non-coaching interventions (advice & experience). In this case, the coach is best advised to tell the coachee that this is not a coaching intervention and then to offer three strategies or examples.
The reason for this is that one suggestion offers no choice and two engage the brain in comparing A versus B. When we introduce a third dimension, the brain has to think at a higher level, not just comparing but sorting and often finding more relationship with other factors. This higher level thinking can lead to a new, fourth idea belonging entirely to the coachee or some derivation in which they have some emotional investment and motivation.
Coaches test for the holistic sense of new strategies and targets to make sure that a plan does not lead them to lose their family, for example, due to over-work. Also, in all coaching, the coachee will normally have experienced a very close approximation to having their objective within the coaching dynamic (session). This, to provide motivation and gain a wider understanding of other factors that may be important along the way.