Types of Coaching

Which coaching type are you? I suppose at the simplest level it breaks into 4 types. There is life coaching, executive coaching, business coaching and sports coaching. We will leave mentoring out for the moment which could cut across all of these. I put sports coaching last as our focus is on delivering coaching as a business. That’s not to say that sports coaches don’t run businesses of course. The majority of coaching today relates to individual or group needs personally or professionally. That’s a pretty broad spectrum which can seem daunting to a new and indeed practicing coach.

If we set aside the ‘Socratic method’ and fast forward to more recent times then many credit the methods of Tim Gallwey, the Harvard tennis coach, as the basis for modern coaching. He set out his thoughts in his book, The Inner Game. Mental strength or perhaps resilience and limiting beliefs are the challenge. Overcome these and the coachee achieves that elusive breakthrough. It’s easy to see that performance will improve with practice and support. So, really the theory seems to fit each of the types above. What happens in practice though?

The Tools of the Trade

The how is the tools and coaching is no different to any other profession. Any professional needs to learn how to approach their chosen field and can choose any number of study routes. Take a lawyer for example. How many different specialties are there within the legal arena? There’s commercial, criminal and family law to name but a few. You won’t find many lawyers practicing across fields. Coaching is similar in that a good coach will be aware of many specialties or approaches but practice only a few.

There are any number of coaching approaches although general consensus puts it at around fifteen. From goal based or instructional coaching to transpersonal coaching. These divide further into specialisms ranging from sex addiction coaching to CEO peer group coaching to spiritual awakening. I suggest the approaches differ, therefore so do the tools. Did you make a conscious choice of what type of coach you would train to be? So as the phrase goes did you choose your weapons! Picking your ideal client type and choosing a coaching approach you are keen on is a good start. Just remember it’s you that chooses the tools, not the client. When was the last time a client asked you for “existential coaching because I want to be happier”. It up to the coach to care about the approach, not the client.

We started that way and over the years our knowledge grew as we learned more approaches. You can’t do it all at once. At The Coaching Revolution we know because we took it one step at a time working with a great mentor. In fact we still do.