The coaching approach

The coaching approach is oriented toward the emergence of solutions.

Coaching emerged between 1980-1990 in North America and Europe. Coaching originally concerned the heads of major companies seeking professional support. Leaders were looking to improve and optimize their management in order to be able to compete in the markets in which they operate.

Executives, decision-makers and those with a high degree of autonomy, being accountable solely to shareholders or to the State, are described as isolated in the responsibility of making decisions affecting the future of their businesses. Some seek a trusted partner to guide their strategic thinking without opening themselves to criticism, or providing the opportunity to others to question their leadership ability. Therefore, leaders turn to an external confidant who can accompany them as they reflect.

In a context that seems increasingly competitive regarding the globalization of markets, increased performance challenges must be met within work teams. The need to be ever more competent, more autonomous, more efficient in our technical and relational activities seems to have created the conditions for high-level competition, and it is often the images of sports, of excelling, of will, of personal investment, of victory, of positive results, of performance research, of assets and strengths or even of giving the best of oneself that are built into the speeches with which leaders address their staff.

Thus, the “new practitioners” (the coaches in management or corporate coaches), offer support in professional development, for the “new athletes” (the managers) seeking support to evolve and develop their skills in their professional environment. So it seems that there is a pivotal time in the business world that arouses the emergence of a need, which requires a new type of service referred to as coaching. Given the satisfaction of managers with regard to coaching, this form of support was then offered to certain employees exercising supervisory responsibilities in order to optimize their performance, capacity management and mobilization of their teams; in summary, their effectiveness within their company.

The coach’s job is not just to provide advice in the way a consultant would, or to evaluate career opportunities as a guidance counselor would, or to impart knowledge as a trainer would, or to share his experiences as a mentor would, or even to provide a diagnosis as a psychologist would, but rather to support the thoughts and reflections of his clients concerning the aspects of their personal and professional lives which they wish to improve. The coaching approach (both life coaching and corporate coaching) is oriented toward the emergence of solutions. Its specific practice is therefore not within a particular expertise in the field of action of his client, but rather a support process, with the attitude of a facilitator.

Often defined as the “therapy for healthy people,” coaching is a support process oriented towards action. It enables individuals who are coached to develop their potential, their resources and their skills and facilitates the achievement of personal and professional goals.

Excerpts by Sylvie Guignon and Guillaume Leroutier