The International Coach Federation ( ICF ) defines coaching as ,` Professional coaching is an interactive process that helps individuals and organizations improve their performances and achieve extraordinary results. Professional coaches work with clients in all areas including business, career, finances, health and relationships. As a result of professional coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and more fully use their natural strengths.`
The ICF is the largest worldwide not-for-profit professional association of coaches. They try to self-regulate the coaching industry, and have developed a system of credentialing coaches that includes a specified number of hours of coach-specific training, number of hours of coaching experience, and proof of ability to coach at or above defined standards for each credentialing level. The credentialing levels defined by the International Coach Federation are Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC).Coaches credentialed by the ICF and members of the ICF, regardless of whether they are credentialed, agree to abide by a code of ethics.
The field of personal and professional coaching has grown substantially over the past 10 years or so and is now finding its way in India too. This essentially involves a working partnership between coach and clients to provide structure, guidance and support for clients to:
- Take a complete look at their current state, including their assumptions and perceptions about their work, themselves and others;
- Set relevant and realistic goals for themselves, based on their own nature and needs;
- Take relevant and realistic actions toward reaching their goals; and
- Learn by continuing to reflect on their actions and sharing feedback with others along the way.
Coaching can be especially useful to help individuals address complex problems and/or attain signifcant goals and do so in a highly individualized fashion.