The Human Potential Project 2005
In our interpretation, coaching is a distinct practice that requires a specific set of competencies. In a business context, coaching is not the same thing as leading, managing, teaching, or mentoring. These are distinct practices in themselves. And while it is true that managers may be called on to coach and that coaches can be leaders, competence in one does not assure competence in either of the others.In our view, coaching is the most potent tool available for performance enhancement. But it’s in danger of losing its importance and potential as organizations try to institutionalize it into handbooks and daylong courses. It is much more than a fancy wrapping for instructions, a package for inspirational slogans, or a sugar-coating of orders. Coaching is a unique form of relationship and communication that, at its highest level, can transform the performance of an individual or a team. It is an interactive process that enables individuals and teams to see something about their performance that they would not otherwise be able to see.
Without coaching, the player is limited to merely honing or incrementally improving an existing level of performance. Coaching makes possible a reinterpretation of actions so that a quantum shift in results can occur. It is dependent upon a specific relationship between the coach and the player and has at its foundation a precise set of observing, listening, and speaking skills.