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This post is unapologetically factual, and is driven by numerous requests to explain what coaching is, and how it works.

The accompanying visual helps explain the difference between coaching, consulting, training, mentoring and therapy.


What is Coaching?


  • Coaching is a system designed to facilitate self actualisation, to help people become more and perform at their peak
  • It is empowering, and believes that people have the internal resources to achieve whatever they set their minds to
  • It promotes self worth, encourages learning and provides the platform for people to set and achieve mighty goals
  • Executive Coaching is a reward for star achievers, high potential candidates, new leaders , experienced  leaders and leaders in transition
  • True coaching is conducted by an objective, trained person who does not hold influence over the coachee.

Now, here is what coaching is not  (Apologies for the shoddy English)

  • Coaching is not performance management
  • Coaching is not for non-performers or derailed talent
  • Whilst line managers could (and should) develop a coaching leadership style, we do not advocate that a supervisior engages their direct report in a coaching programme as it may be challenging for the direct report for fear of looking bad, being seen as weak or being labelled a poor performer.

** Post updated 2013 ** For a great explanation of how the process actually works, see my blog post: Integrity.  Understanding Your Head to Lead from Your Heart.

And of course there are many different types of coaches:

  • Executive Coaches (like me)
  • Leadership Coaches (also like me)
  • Business Development Coaches (not so much me)
  • Entrepreneur / Small Business Coaches (me too)
  • Coaches dedicated to advancing Gender Diversity (definitely me)
  • Wealth Coaches (nope, not me)
  • Sales Coaches (again, not me, but here’s someone who really knows their stuff: Tom Abbott)
  • Health / Wellness Coaches (nope, not me, but here’s someone who is great: Karen Turner)
  • Life Coaches

… and the list goes on …

Ok, so how about the different ways I coach:

1:1 Coaching

  • This involves two people – the Client and the Coach, and can either be face:face or over Skype / Telephone.

Group Coaching

  • Group coaching is simply when there is 1 coach, facilitating a group of diverse people. They may be from the same company / community / organization but they do not have reporting lines, nor are they an intact team.

Team Coaching

  • Here’s where the team comes into play. 1 coach works with a team of people to facilitate both individual (and on a meta-level) group goals. Ths type of coaching works to foster cultural change, group goals and is phenomenal in driving change processes.

Shadow Coaching

  • This is where the coach ‘shadows’ the Client. It can form part of an executive coaching programme where the coach works 1:1 with the Exec. It can be used to hold a mirror to EXCOs / Boards , and is a powerful tool to bring about honesty and accountability.


  • A systemic coaching system that gets to the heart of the matter by facilitating the Client’s understanding of their frames of meaning and translating these into peak performance. Meta-Coaches are rigorously trained and benchmarked against against 7 core skills before certification is granted. Click here if you want to know more : http://www.meta-coaching.org

Ok, so that’s it in a nutshell. I hope that helps you understand a bit more of my world. And if you’d like to know a bit more, or want discuss a programme, feel free to drop me a note : Janine.daniels@lead.com.co

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