Different Types Of Coaching 

What types of coaching are there and what sort of coaching do you need?

There are many different types of specialist coaching which meet the many different needs people have. Engaging a coach who is a specialist in their field can provide confidence that the coach is knowledgeable about your context, understands your specific needs and may be equipped with approaches and tools that may best serve you.

I've written this section to help you to make sense of the different types of coaching that are being marketed and help you to establish whether there is a particular type of coaching that would be appropriate for you or your organisation.

The world of coaching is now massive and definitions not clear cut. As you read through the types of coaching available you will see some overlap and in some cases you will find that different terms are used to describe the same type of coaching.

This section will also help you if you are thinking of becoming a coach to help you decide what area, if any, you may like to specialise in.

As you go through the types of coaching below you will get:

  • An explanation of the type of coaching
  • Examples of when this type of coaching may be beneficial
  • Recommended further reading

You may want to read this section in conjunction with choosing a coach and understanding what is coaching.

Business Coaching

Business Coaching aims to help business leaders and/or their teams make progress within a business environment, often with a focus on achieving results for the benefit of the business. It is probably one of the most confused terms in the coaching world as the umbrella term business coaching can also include the specific areas of executive, team, performance and leadership coaching and is used in a wide variety of contexts  often delivering support which may be more akin to consultancy and advice.

I personally, have encountered the term business coaching most frequently within the SME market (Small to Medium-sized Enterprises) i.e. small businesses, where an external coach will support an owner-manager and their leadership team to improve the performance of their organisation.

A business coach, professionally trained in 'non-directive' coaching skills training will allow the client to take a step back, reflect, develop awareness and identify their own solutions to moving forward. This is an empowering process and often a refreshing approach, especially for those entrepreneurs who benefit from time out to reflect and do not want someone else telling them how to run their business!

The focus of business coaching can vary enormously, from the identification of vision, mission, purpose, values and strategy development, through to leadership, team or cultural development. There is plenty of evidence to support the benefits of taking this wider perspective on business coaching, beyond just strategy planning and the more functional aspects of business growth. Increasingly it is recognised, for example, that an organisation's culture has a significant impact not only on the well-being of employees but also on the results it achieves. Helping leaders to understand their own impact on performance by the way they lead and interact with others and helping all employees and teams to become more self-aware and creating a positive working environment, can have a far reaching impact on overall business performance.

However, in the world of business coaching, many coaches take a much more directive approach offering the client a range of business tools, solutions, models and strategies to help. Some would argue that in these cases they could be regarded as a business mentor or even consultant.

Given the potential broad nature of business coaching it is important for both coach and client to be clear on what support is required and the expertise and experience of the business coach, so the most appropriate coach can be matched to the needs of the organisation. I have often witnessed business coaching being commissioned only for a coach to be pushing their own agenda and the client disappointed that they are not getting what they signed up for.

Business coaching may be beneficial to you if…

  • Your organisation needs to improve its overall business performance and you recognise that you need to take a step back and reflect on what you are doing and how
  • You are in a senior role and need an impartial sounding board to help you to challenge your thinking 
  • Your organisation is under pressure to adapt and respond to a changing environment
  • The leaders of the business or your employees are not performing to their full potential
  • You recognises an opportunity to develop your organisation's culture which impacts on the well-being, engagement and productivity of your staff
  • You are seeking help in the following areas:clarifying your organisation's purpose, vision, mission, values and goals; identification of issues affecting the performance of the organisation; brainstorming of solutions and strategies to forward; challenging current working practices and identifying new ways of working.

Recommended Further Reading:

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach – Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills) – Nancy Stimson, Kogan Page


Career Coaching

The aim of career coaching is to help you make decisions and changes relating to your working life, and to help you move forward in your job.

This genre of coaching will usually do a number of the following to help you:

  • Help identify career aspirations and goals
  • Uncover what truly motivates you so you make the best career choice
  • Examine the skills, competencies and experience that you have gained to date, not only through past employment and career life, but also through your personal life too e.g. through sporting and social activities.
  • Carry out psychometric tests to help you understand your personality, strengths and suitability for different career
  • Broaden your mind to considering alternative career options
  • Develop a resume (curriculum vitae)
  • Help you to conduct effective interviews (see also interview coaching)
  • Develop your confidence to take the next steps

Some coaches may also extend their services into careers advice and give advice on the best places to look for work, writing letters and interview tips

Coaching your career may be beneficial if you…

  • have a career or job you would like to move to but need some help to do it
  • need to gain clarity about your strengths, what motivates you and what career would best suit you
  • are unhappy in your current job and want some help to make the change to something new
  • want help with putting together an up to date and effective resume
  • want to develop your confidence in applying for jobs and conducting interviews
  • Want to develop your confidence to pursue new career paths and take action to support this

Recommended Further Reading:

Career Coaching: An Insider's Guide - Second Edition - Marcia Bench

Brilliant CV: What Employers Want to See & How to Say It

- James Bright, Bertrams Publishing


Confidence Coaching

The aim of confidence coaching is to help you, as an individual become more confident in any particular area of your life.

You may be feeling you are lacking in self-assurance in general, whether it is within your work or your personal life or, there may be one area in particular where you would like to improve self confidence in order to achieve what you want.

Perhaps you want to improve your public speaking or presentation skills to promote your business, enhance your ability at interview to help you get that new job or you may want to feel better about the way you feel or look to give you the confidence to find a new partner in life. You may even have a difficult decision to make and you are putting it off not knowing whether it is the right thing to do. Or maybe you are in a new job role and need help to get you off to a great start.

Self-belief is often at the heart of these things and a good coach will help you to address your fears, discover your hidden strengths, build upon your successes and become more confident in yourself that you can do it.

Another important factor in taking yourself beyond your ‘comfort zone’ is understanding what really motivates you…you are more likely to push yourself if it is really important to you so. A good coach therefore should help you to uncover those things that truly motivate you and also those that don’t.

Confidence coaching can help you if…

  • you want overall to improve self confidence
  • there are specific skills you want to use or specific activities you would like to tackle with increased confidence
  • you have aspirations to achieve challenging goals and want support to help you harness your strengths and overcome barriers
  • you want to address any fears which may be holding you back

Recommended Further Reading:

Building Self-Confidence - Chris Sellars and National Coaching Foundation (Paperback - 1 Jun 1998)

Be Heard Now!: Tap into Your Inner Speaker and Communicate with Ease - Lee Glickstein (Hardcover - Nov 1998)

Brilliant Presentation: What the Best Presenters Know, Say and Do

- Richard Hall (Paperback)


Employee Coaching

As the term suggests employee coaching is about coaching staff in the workplace. Increasingly organisations are recognising that coaching is an effective approach for developing employees and can be a powerful way of ensuring that staff are engaged and perform to their full potential.

Some organisations are well developed in having executive or leadership coaching for senior leaders and managers are trained to have coaching style conversations to get the best out of their teams. In some organisations coaching conversations extend to the way employees communicate across the organisation. There may also be designated internal coaches who are not the individual's line manager, and who work with employees on performance or well-being challenges. The absence of a reporting line, helps ensure that coaching can take place without the fear of having to 'hold back' in conversation, which they may do if they were to be coached by their manager. Such an organisation may be regarded as having a ‘coaching culture.’

Some organisations choose to use external coaches to coach employees although the costs of this can be high and as such external coaches are tends to be used to coach more senior employees or teams.

Employee coaching can be beneficial for…

  • Developing the potential of employees on a day to day basis
  • Addressing areas where an employee may not be performing to their full potential
  • Increasing employee engagement and gaining the commitment of employees to organisational change when employees need to adopt new ways of thinking and working
  • Conducting meaningful performance reviews/appraisals which improve engagement, and commitment of the appraisee
  • supporting employees in their transition to new roles such as newly appointed managers
  • Developing high-flyers within an organisation

Recommended Further Reading:

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach – Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills) – N. Stimson, Kogan Page


Executive Coaching

Executive coaching is typically aimed at developing senior managers, directors and key players within an organisational setting. It provides the time and space for senior leaders to reflect on their performance in their role with the aim of enhancing their personal impact.

Within a coaching session, a client may explore their strengths, challenges, motivation, confidence and performance. In exploring these areas the coach will help the client gain a deeper awareness, challenge their thinking,and support them in stretching themselves beyond their current level of performance.  A good executive coach will take an holistic approach to coaching recognising that a whole host of factors influence executive performance, including health, fitness and relationships.

Executive coaching is usually carried out by an external, professionally trained coach and for this reasons represents a relatively high investment so is reserved for developing senior managers within an organisation from whom it is perceived a return on investment will be seen. 

Often a three-way contracting process takes place in which the coaching sponsor (e.g. Head of HR), the coachee and coach have agree the terms of engagement and what the expectations are of the coaching process. If this is the case there needs to be clear agreements as to what is kept confidential during sessions and what and how, if anything is reported back.

Executive coaching may be beneficial if you…

  • are a business owner or director needing an independent and impartial sounding board to help you make important decisions
  • are a manager wanting to take your level of achievement to new level
  • are having difficulties in managing your team or employees
  • are faced with personal difficulties which are preventing you from working effectively
  • are a ‘high flyer’ and want to develop your full potential
  • need to address your own roles and performance and in an organisation undergoing organisational change.

Recommended Further Reading:

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach – Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills) – Nancy Stimson, Kogan Page


Interview Coaching

Interview coaching focuses you specifically on interview skills improvement with the aim of helping you make successful job applications. It is therefore related to career coaching and as such the services offered by the respective coaches may overlap.

Changing your job or career represents for many people a very important step in your life so investing in coaching can be very worthwhile to ensure you know how best to conduct yourself and market yourself at interview.

One to one coaching may focus on a number of different areas depending on your specific needs but can include:

  • Identifying what preparation a client needs to undertake for an interview
  • Identify the key messages they need to get across to help them best sell themselves
  • Development of listening skills to ensure the questions being asked are understood and answered effectively
  • Role playing and videoing of practice to identify strengths and areas for development
  • Identifying appropriate questions to ask
  • Understanding how to follow up appropriately

Interviewing coaching can be beneficial if you…

  • Haven’t attended a job interview for a number of years or are new to job applications
  • Are faced with tough competition and want to maximize your chances of a successful job application.
  • Just want to improve your interview skills and confidence when applying for a job

Recommended Further Reading:

Career Coaching: An Insider's Guide - Second Edition - Marcia Bench

Brilliant CV: What Employers Want To See And How To Say It

- Jim Bright, Bertrams Publishing


Leadership Coaching

Leadership Coaching aims specifically to help individuals develop their skills and competencies as a leader within an organisation.

Most leaders can benefit from personal development to help them be effective in their role whether it is to help them make better decisions, raise their confidence, improve their relationships, lead their teams or manage their time more effectively. Often leaders feel ‘lonely’ at the top and seek an impartial sounding board with whom they can talk through their most pressing issues, explore ideas, draw conclusions and commit to action. Leaders also often experience of feeling they cannot see the wood for the trees so benefit from taking time out to reflect and think things through.

There are plenty of leadership programmes available that aim to develop leaders skills and confidence however, the downside of many training courses is that they are generic and don’t allow the individual to focus on those issues that directly affect them. Increasingly organisations running internal leadership programmes recognise the value of leadership coaching and build it in as an integral part of the programme. 

What one to one coaching can do is help a leader to address specific challenges they might have and helps them to work on the areas they personally need to address to . By having a coach who creates a climate of listening, trust, challenge, accountability and support, a leader is provided with an opportunity to explore their goals and issues in depth, the role they play, their strengths and areas for development and will feel supported and held accountable for action they choose to take. It is therefore a bespoke solution and one where the individual will feel to be open about their hopes and fears and will be prepared to commit to specific action.

You may benefit from being coached in leadership if …

  • you are a newly appointed leader
  • you are an established manager and want to improve your competence as a leader
  • you want to address specific issues relating to your remit as a leader
  • you want to formulate an appropriate personal development plan for yourself as a leader
  • you are a business owner who wants to more effectively lead your organisation

Recommended Further Reading:

Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership- Kenneth H. Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi, Drea Zigarmi, Harper Collins Publishers

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach – Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills) – N. Stimson, Kogan Page


Life Coaching

The aim of life coaching is to help you identify and achieve personal goals in any area of your life.

A holistic approach is taken, recognising that one area of your life impacts upon another and so addressing personal areas such as relationships or spirituality can in turn lead to improvement in your health or achievement of your career goals.

Different coaches operate in different ways but typically they will help you to assess your current satisfaction in different areas of your life, explore what you want to achieve, what your current strengths are and help you formulate a strategy for development. For example you might identify the values that underpin your motivation and challenge existing beliefs with the aim of unlocking previously held barriers to moving forward. Life coaching also helps to build confidence to step outside your current comfort zones and perhaps take courageous decisions you would otherwise not have taken.

Life Coaching may be beneficial if you…

  • want to make changes in your life but are struggling to make them on your own or you feel there are things holding you back
  • have some major goals you want to achieve and need some support
  • need some clarity and confidence to help you make some major decisions
  • want to gain clarity about what motivates you and what you would like to achieve
  • want to reduce the stress in your life or gain a better work-life balance

Recommended Further Reading:

Life Coach: Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be (Hamlyn Self Help S.) – Pam Richardson, Hamlyn

The Life Coaching Handbook - Curly Martin, Crown House Publishing Limited


Management Coaching

Management Coaching aims specifically to help individuals perform as a manger and specifically effective people management.

Moving into a management role can present many challenges especially if an individual is managing people for the first time. There are many management training courses available but these are usually very generic and one to one management coaching can help an individual address issues that are specific to their own situation.

Management coaching can provide an impartial sounding board allowing you  to explore the issues and challenges you have, identify solutions specific to your own scenarios and also identify areas for their own further development.

This style of coaching may be beneficial if…

  • you are a newly appointed manager
  • you are already a manager and want to improve your performance in your role
  • if you have specific issues, relating to your role as a manager, which you want to address
  • you want to identify an appropriate personal development plan for your ongoing development as a manager
  • you are an owner-manager who wants to more effectively manage your organization

Recommended Further Reading:

Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership - Kenneth H. Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi, Drea Zigarmi, Harper Collins Publishers

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach – Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills) – N. Stimson, Kogan Page


Parent Coaching

The aim of parent coaching is to help you develop your parenting skills and confidence.

Few people would disagree that being a parent, at times can be hugely challenging. These challenges are often magnified:

  • if you are new to parenthood
  • when you are deprived of sleep
  • if your child is ill or has a learning difficulty or physical disability
  • if your child isn’t eating or sleeping
  • when children enter a new phase in their lives such as the ‘terrible two’s’ or teens
  • if relationships between you and your partner breakdown
  • if you are a single parent
  • when there is interference from friends or other family members
  • during other times of stress

.

Parent coaching can help you to address these and other issues helping you to bring up healthy and happy children and giving you a sense of confidence and fulfillment as a parent. Just being able to share your concerns and talk through ways to move forward can be a huge weight of your shoulders.

Parent Coaching may be beneficial if you…

  • Are facing specific issues or challenges as a parent and don’t know how to address them
  • want to build your confidence
  • want a sounding board to share your challenges and issues
  • feel stressed in your role as a parent
  • feel isolated and lonely or feel a loss of identify as a parent

Note also that this style of coaching may also refer to the skills of coaching your own children to reach their full potential.

Recommended Further Reading:

The 7 Day Parent Coach: Halve the Stress, Double Your Energy and Become a Great Parent - Lorraine Thomas (Paperback - 2 Jun 2005)

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason - Alfie Kohn (Paperback - 30 Mar 2007)

The Rules of Parenting (Rules Series) - Richard Templar (Hardcover - 27 Dec 2007)

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk (How to Help Your Child) - Adele Faber; Elaine Mazlish (Paperback - 3 May 2001)

Parenting for Dummies - Helen Brown (Paperback - 6 Oct 2006)

The Coaching Parent: Help your children realise their potential by becoming their personal success coach - David Miskimin, Jack Stewart, and Joe Gregory (Paperback - 1 Jan 2006)


Performance Coaching

The term performance coaching is generally applied within the context of organisations where the key focus is the improvement of performance. Organisations employing this style of coaching will expect to see a measurable improvement in competencies, skills and overall effectiveness of employees.

Although it has its roots in sports coaching there are plenty of scenarios which require individuals and teams to improve their performance. It can equally be applied to business leaders who need to improve the their own performance in order to improve overall business performance (see also leadership coaching), high achieving employees who are earmarked for fast-track promotion, or poor performers who need to raise their levels of confidence and competence. It can be carried out both on a one to one basis or in a team setting. See also Executive Coaching and Team Coaching.

The focus on such coaching is about developing the individual’s competence and confidence in order that they can perform in such a way that enables them to achieve either personal goals or that of the organisation they are working for. However, a competent performance coach will help an individual explore the full range of factors impacting upon mindset and performance.

Typically the label performance coach is given to external coaches brought in to work with individuals or teams and as such are generally used to work with more senior management and directors where there is a likelihood of a greater return on investment. However organisations with a coaching culture will have performance improvement at the heart of their coaching and as such internal coaches will usually be aiming to achieve this same goal.

Performance Coaching can benefit…

  • key players within an organisation who’s improved performance would significantly improve the performance of the overall business
  • high flyers who have the scope to develop to their full potential
  • underperforming teams or teams with the potential to perform more effectively
  • those with an already high level of competence where further coaching will give them a competitive edge e.g. sportsperson

Recommended Further Reading:

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach – Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills) – N. Stimson, Kogan Page


Personal Coaching

The aim of personal coaching is to help you, as an individual, identify and achieve personal goals.

The focus is on meeting your needs as opposed to any agenda imposed by an organisation. However some organisations may invest in personal coaching for their employees recognising that if an individual is contented, having addressed their personal goals, then they will perform more effectively in the work place.

This style of coaching can take many forms and sometimes is also known as life coaching where you may look to improve any aspect of your life. It can also include more specific areas such as relationship, spirituality or career coaching, where you may feel you have a particular need or desire to develop.

Personal coaching may be beneficial if you…

  • want to make changes or decisions in your life, or have some major goals you want to achieve
  • need to gain clarity about what motivates you and what you would like to achieve
  • want to reduce the stress in your life or gain a better work-life balance
  • want to develop your skills, confidence to your full potential

Recommended Further Reading:

Life Coach: Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be (Hamlyn Self Help S.) – Pam Richardson, Hamlyn

The Life Coaching Handbook, Everything You Need To Be An Effective Life Coach

- Curly Martin, Crown House Publishing Limited


Presentation Coaching

The ability to present effectively is a skill essential to many jobs and businesses. If you have your own business you will know you will need to effectively present your products or services to potential clients and if you are in a management role no doubt you will have to present information, ideas and proposal to others in your organisation.

But making presentations and public speaking can be daunting…in fact it is said that for most people it ranks among their number one fear! And there is huge variation between those who are good at it and those who aren’t so it is no surprise that there is a huge market for presentation skills development whether it is through training or coaching.

Presentation skills or public speaking coaching focuses specifically on the development of these skills and one would expect that a good presentation skills coach, will set an example as a first class presenter or public speaker. 

Presentation skills coaching should help you to identify your own strengths and areas for development as a presenter in order that you can get your message across in the most effective and appropriate way for your audience.

Examples of when presentation coaching may be beneficial

  • when presenting and public speaking become an important part of your job role or business
  • to increase your skill base and therefore your marketability for new jobs and promotions
  • to improve your performance at interview
  • to build your overall confidence

Recommended Further Reading:

The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick – Andy Bounds


Taking Presentation Skills to the Next Level: Your Questions Answered (Unabridged) - Steve, Gilbert & Andy McDermott (Audio download) from download.com)


Relationship Coaching

The aim of relationship coaching is to help you, as an individual improve relationships you have with others, whether this is with your spouse, partner, friend or workplace relationships.  

Relationships form a very influential part of our lives and unhappiness in this area has huge impact on other areas of our life such as work and health. You may be one of the increasingly numbers of people in an unhappy marriage or maybe struggling to form a satisfactory long term relationship. Or you may be struggling with relationships at work which are impacting on both your performance and well-being.

Relationship coaching can take different forms - one to one coaching for individuals wishing to explore their relationships with others or relationship systems coaching (see below) which involves coaching two or more people currently in a relationship, such as a husband and wife, employee and their manager, business partners or a whole family or team. With the latter the focus is on coaching the relationship itself and gives all parties of the relationship an opportunity to explore the dynamics of the relationship in a safe and structured environment. 

Whatever form relationship coaching takes, it can help you as an individual, partnership or team to better understand yourself and the relationship you are in and find positive solutions to help you move forward.

Relationship coaching may be beneficial if you…

  • Are experiencing difficulties in your marriage or long term relationship
  • Are struggling with relationships at work
  • Want to revitalise your current relationship with your current partner or family members
  • Have difficulties forming close relationships with others
  • Want to gain greater awareness and insight into your relationships with others

Relationship Systems Coaching

Relationship systems coaching is a specific and powerful approach to coaching which is based on the latest thinking in human relationship systems.  The approach helps individuals view their team, marriage or family as a single entity and understand the complexities that lie within it: the roles that are played out, the power that is held and the unconscious processes that are played out.

The focus of coaching is on the relationship itself rather than the individuals in the relationship and takes a systemic and non-judgemental approach, in which all perspectives are invited to be heard and valued. It draws on various philosophies and methodologies, some of which are akin to some mediation approaches, and which have been applied across the globe in some of the most challenging conflict situations.

Professionally trained relationship systems coaches undergo rigorous training to become accredited and are thus well-equipped to help teams and partnerships work through the most challenging issues. This article "What Is Relationship Systems Coaching" will help you understand more.

Relationship systems coaching may be beneficial if a relationship you are in...

  • is experiencing difficulties and both/all parties in the relationship are open to exploring ways of moving forwards
  • experiences high levels of conflict and destructive behaviours
  • would benefit from improved understanding, empathy and increased positivity
  • would benefit from improved communication and more cohesive ways of working or living

Recommended Further Reading:

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex - John Gray (Paperback - Jan 2004)

Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improve Your Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress - John Gray (Paperback - 4 Feb 2008)

Human Relationship Skills - Richard Nelson-Jones (Paperback - 9 Mar 2006)



Sales Coaching

Sales coaching is focused on the improvement of a very specific skill set, selling skills to enable individuals and teams to sell more effectively.

Some coaches offering coaching for salespeople may work with you to explore your own personal barriers to selling, work on your confidence, your strengths and what you need to do to sell more effectively. Many coaches I have found take a more directive approach offering you tools, advice and techniques to improve your selling skills, adopting more of a training role imparting their own skills and knowledge.

Either way coaching to improve your ability to sell should be tailored to your own needs helping you to focus on what you most need to focus on. This will be dependent on your current skill level and tailored to the type of selling that you will be doing. One to one coaching may complement formal sales training allowing you to successfully embed on skills and techniques that you have learned in the classroom.

In an organisation where there is a strong coaching culture often the sales manager will provide on going on-the job coaching to their team members.

Sales Coaching is typically beneficial when…

  • you have received formal sales training or already have a level of competence and the coaching is used to improve selling skills further
  • as a manager you need an increased level of performance from your own salespeople so they can sell more effectively

Recommended Further Reading:

The Secrets of Selling: How to win in any sales situation (Financial Times Series)- Geoff King

Winning New Business: Essential Selling Skills for Non-Sales People – Richard Denny


Sex Coaching

The aim of sex coaching is to help you, as an individual improve the sexual relationships you have with others.

Sex is still very much of a taboo subject for many people yet it forms a natural and important part of our lives. A healthy sex life can lead to a very fulfilling and satisfying life whilst a poor sex life can result in unhappiness that impacts negatively on other areas of our life such as health and work.

The breakdown of sexual relationships occurs for a variety of reasons:

  • breakdown in your overall relationship with your partner
  • the arrival of children
  • infidelity by yourself or your partner
  • a loss of physical attraction between you and your partner
  • a breakdown of communication between partners
  • changes in health
  • changes in circumstances
  • stress
  • hormonal changes

Sex coaching may help you as an individual or as a couple address issues that are holding you back from enjoying a satisfying sex life and find solutions to help you move forward. This may include helping those who have never had the fortune to enjoy a good sex life owing to either unpleasant past experiences or no experience at all.

Coaching can also help those who already enjoy a healthy sex life but want to take it to a new level.

In addressing challenges around sex it is helpful to explore the wider impacting issues. Often there are deeper psychological factors that impact upon our experience of sex so it  so it may be helpful to engage a professional who is qualified and experienced in this field. Sex therapists also offer support in this field and it may be helpful to evaluate the benefits of both sex therapy and sex coaching to match your specific needs.

Sex coaching may be beneficial if you …

  • Are currently unhappy about your sex life
  • Want to talk through issues concerning your sexual relations
  • Want to revitalise your sex life or take it to a new level
  • Are experiencing a loss of libido
  • Have hang-ups about sex which you want to address
  • Want to gain clarity about your own sexual orientation

Recommended Further Reading:

The Art of Sex Coaching: Principles and Practices (Norton Professional Books (Hardcover)) - P Britton (Hardcover - 26 April 2005)

Reconnecting: A Self-Coaching Solution to Revive Your Love Life - Luciani, Joseph J. Ph.D. (Hardcover - 6 May 2009)

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex John Gray (Paperback - Jan 2004)

Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improve Your Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress - John Gray (Paperback - 4 Feb 2008)

Human Relationship Skills -

Richard Nelson-Jones (Paperback - 9 Mar 2006)


Small Business Coaching

Small business coaching is aimed at helping small businesses develop and prosper. If you are an owner-manager of a small business you will know only too well life that at the top can be lonely and at times very challenging, often having to perform multiple functions in order to run an effective operation.

Having an independent coach who can act as an independent and impartial sounding board with whom you can clarify thinking and bounce ideas off can be a very worthwhile investment, and can help ensure that you focus on your priorities and therefore make best use of time available.

Small business coaching may be beneficial if…

  • you are at a cross roads with your business and want to gain clarity about the direction and resulting strategy of your business
  • you need an impartial sounding board, removed from the well intentioned but often misplaced ‘advice’ of friends, family and other close associates
  • you are ‘stuck’ on issues and need to explore options for moving forward that best fit your own situation
  • you are a manager who is having performance issues with an employee coaching can help you to explore a way forward and come up with a tailor-made solution for addressing the situation
  • you are stressed out and are struggling to gain an adequate work-life balance, meet essential goals or has have lost sight of your priorities
  • you also seek some new tools, ideas and strategies to help you move forward, in which case you may seek a more directive approach to coaching or may seek mentoring or advice

Recommended Further Reading:

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach – Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills) – N. Stimson, Kogan Page


Spiritual Coaching

Spiritual Coaching is an approach to coaching that seeks to connect you to a deeper level that is beyond the mind, beyond those aspects of life that are controlled by materialistic and mechanistic goals.

A spiritual life coach would encourage you to set goals around your deepest values in all areas of your life that take account of your mind, body, spirit connection The Spiritual life coach will help you develop faith that your goals will be realised when it is right for you in your life, as life is a journey and the emphasis is on enjoying the journey as you create opportunities to grow and to achieve your goals.

For spiritual coaching you need a spiritual life coach. Firstly because a spiritual life coach is one who is deeply connected to their own spirituality and as such can quickly attune herself or himself to the clients deeper journey, dismantling thoughts and connecting with emotions that are a more reliable doorway to your inner being. And secondly a spiritual coach is able to go with the flow and their intuition when coaching.

Whatever aspect of life you are dealing with, whether you are a parent facing challenges with your teenage children or a business trying to maximize your profits, anyone and any issue can be approached spiritually.

Spiritual life coaching may be particularly beneficial when you have a tendency to worry or feel anxious, are in a period following the break up of a relationship, have lost a loved one, have health issues or you are seeking inner peace and happiness

Recommended Further Reading:

Steering by Starlight: How to Fulfil Your Destiny, No Matter What by Martha N. Beck

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle


Success Coaching

The aim of success coaching is to help you, as an individual, achieve whatever you want to achieve, in whatever area of your life you desire. It is therefore really another term which may be used to describe any other type of coaching whether it is life, business, personal, or performance coaching where the ultimate aim is to help you achieve particular goals.

Success means different things to different people – for one person it could be establishing a profitable business, becoming a renowned public speaker or to excel at a particular sport. For someone else it could mean having a satisfying relationship with a partner or being able to lead a life of helping others or spending time with family.

Ultimately personal success can be defined as living a life congruent with your personal values (i.e. living your life in a way that is important to you) and a good coach should be able to help you clarify what your personal values are.

You may already have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and need the help of a coach to help you get there, perhaps to help you build your confidence, address any limiting beliefs you may have that are inhibiting your progress or to help you clarify a plan of action and support you along the way.

Success coaching may therefore be beneficial if you…

  • know that you want to achieve ‘personal success’ in any particular area of your life and want some support in getting there
  • want to clarify what ‘success’ means to you
  • are feeling dissatisfied with having ‘lost your way’ want to redefine what is important to you
  • want to develop your skills, confidence to your full potential

Recommended Further Reading:

What Matters Most : The Power of Living Your Values – Hyrum W. Smith, Simon and Schuster


Life Coach: Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be (Hamlyn Self Help S.) – Pam Richardson, Hamlyn


Co-Active Coaching, 2nd Edition: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and, Life - Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, and Phil Sandahl (Paperback - 15 Feb 2007)


Team Coaching

Team coaching is usually undertaken in an organisational environment with the purpose of the performance improvement of working teams. The coaching itself may consist either of one to one coaching of members of a team or more usually refers to coaching the whole team at once, or a combination of the two.

This type of coaching can be an effective vehicle for clarifying team goals, establishing common ground between team members, recognising individuals’ values, needs and strengths and developing a cohesive way of working together.

Often the terms Team Coaching and Team Facilitation are used interchangeable and there are lots of different views on whether they are one and the same. I use the term coaching to describe working with a team to:

  1. Develop them as a team so they work effectively together. This includes helping the team members to identify and share their respective strengths & values and how they work together and communicate with each other
  2. Helping them to work on specific goals as a team.

In coaching the emphasis is on the members of the team having the answers so the coach’s role is to ask questions to help the team identify and articulate the answers and ensuring all voices of the team are heard.

Team Facilitation tends to refer more to guiding a team towards a set agenda and the facilitator will often hold the knowledge that the group needs to know. Facilitation tends be applied to one-off sessions whereas coaching occurs over a period of time and require more than one session. An example would be facilitating a one-off session on Creativity where I might help develop the team’s knowledge of creative techniques and how they might apply them. In this scenario I would be sharing some of my knowledge by introducing techniques but use a facilitative style which encourages interaction, practice and thinking in the group.

In organisations where coaching is an established practice managers may see coaching as integral to developing their own teams on a regular basis. Larger organisations may employ their own their own internal coaches trained to fulfil this function.

External coaches can play an important part in coaching teams, providing independent and impartial facilitation, where an internal manager or coach may be too close to the issues therefore may not be able to effectively help the team progress.

Examples of when team coaching may be beneficial

  • To achieve performance improvement is an already effective team
  • A team needing to change its working practices and responsibilities in line with organisation changes
  • A dysfunctional team in which individual members need to work more effectively together
  • A team where communication between members needs to be improved

Recommended Further Reading:

Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, 4th Edition – Sir John Whitmore, Brealey Publishing

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach
– Miles Downey, Orion Business

Coaching Your Employees (Better Management Skills)
– N. Stimson, Kogan Page

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