Problems with Definition of Coaching

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Problems with Definition of Coaching
Bernard Liebowitz PhD CMC, Management Consultant, United States

Overly broad definitions of coaching (and mentoring too) plague discussions around these two topics:
- Coaching can be remediation or developmental, goal-specific or general in coverage, conducted internally or by an outside consultant, by a leader/boss or by someone neutral, behaviorally- or psychologically-oriented. Each has different goals, expectations, usages, value, etc.
- Likewise mentoring -- it might be conducted by someone in the same industry or not, in the same company or not, with specific or general goals, by an outsider or not, etc.
Another way of saying this is that the statements about both fields phrased in general terms without context subject the field to either misunderstanding by those in the field and outside, ridicule, avoidance (by people and organizations that can benefit form either) or worse.

Definition of Coaching
Doug Johnson, Business Consultant, South Africa
I keep it simple - I mentor the person and coach the team.

Definition of Coaching
Cynthia Crump, Other, Antigua and Barbuda
From doing my dissertation research, I note the literature has presented several definitions and for the most part they do not appear distinct, and thus, can be used interchangeably. In some ways this could be so.
For example, the mentors and the observers who I also refereed to as coaches, had similar characteristics, according to Hicks & McCracken (2009) they were experts in their field, and their role was to share their expertize/competence with teachers to promote their understanding and instructional competence.
On the other hand, the teachers' role were to peer coach, collaborating and supporting each other in the learning community.
Mentoring and coaching, however, involved educators interacting and sharing in a school-based professional development initiative, different from the traditional working in the school environment where teachers, for the most part, work alone in their classrooms. The characteristics of such school-based sharing included teachers working with their peers or an expert or master.

Coaching Definition
Sean . Lally, Manager, United Kingdom
One could define coaching as honing (Ed: ~sharpening) someone's skills so that they become proficient at which ever task/s they carry out by fully utilising their ability and adapting their techniques to suit the environment.
Therefore benefiting the manager and the business, however 'motivation' is also key in coaching as the coachee has to perceive or recognise a benefit, reward/recognition or even role expectation.

Coaching Definition Determined by Historical Perspective
Isaac E. Kruger, Management Consultant, South Africa
You may find persons deeming themselves coaches, without the faintest clue what the concept actually entails. Their definition is locked up in their historically, patriarchal upbringing. How does one handle such a situation?

How the Concept of Coaching is Evolving
Dumisani Sibandze, Other, Swaziland
There is no one best way or strategy for coaching. One must consider relevant circumstances and decide which strategy would serve the purpose best under those conditions and circumstances.
Paulo Friere was against the traditional, didactic, mug and jug technique and preferred the problem solving. Coaching should be a deliberate planning and organisation of teaching and learning, instructing, counseling, experiences and situations in the light of psychological and pedagogical principle with a view of achieving an objective or goal.
The evolution of coaching will go on from generation to generation.


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