What is Coaching

Jan 31, 2023

100% of the potential clients who get in touch with me express their desire to fast-track their life or career development; however, more than 80% of them don’t really understand what life and career coaching is, how it works, and how I, as their coach, can help. Therefore, I decided to focus this blog post to explain – at a high level – what coaching is, and how I’ve been able to help many clients to achieve beyond their goals and dreams.

First, what is coaching and its origin?

The word “coach” was first introduced around 1830 at Oxford University where it was referred to as a tutor who carried a student through an exam. The first use of “coaching” in the context of athletics happened in 1861, and it was identified as the process to transport people from where they were to where they wanted to be. In a completely different context according to Dictionary.com, a “coach”, as a noun, is defined as “a large, four-wheeled carrier,” or “a public motorbus,” which is used to move objects or passengers from one place to another.

In my own words, the purpose of being a coach is to advance my clients’ life or career by transitioning them from where they are today to their desired destinations while promoting internal rediscovery, self-motivation, inspiration, and action.

ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines coaching as the following:

Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Coaching is best for those who are well-adjusted, emotionally healthy, and yet want to make personal changes, and deepen their learning about themselves in order to make a positive and measurable impact in different areas of their lives. True coaching doesn’t tell the clients what to do, instead guides clients to think, evaluate, clarify, then pursue and accomplish their goals and dreams with a measurable action plan.

Personal coaching gained popularity in the 1980s and progressively spread during the nineties. In recent years, business/career coaching has become a popular offering by HR departments of large corporations, while different styles of life coaching have become widely accessible to the public.

Differences among coaching, counseling, and consulting

Many use the words coaching, counseling, and consulting interchangeably, but incorrectly. Even though on the surface, all three seem to have an end goal of “making your life better,” the fundamental approach to each of these practices is very different. I hope, by understanding the differences in the table below will help you determine what you truly need in the current stage of your life.

The subject
expert is

Who is

The two parties work together to

So they can
focus on

Resulting in


The client

Healthy and willing

Promote internal motivation, self-discovery, and purpose

Getting clarity on the present in order to move into the future

Self-motivation, internal inspiration, and ownership of the future


The counselor

In need of pathology

Diagnose the client

Dissecting the past to deal with the present

Knowing and accepting the circumstances and oneself


The consultant

In need of a subject expert

Gather data from the client

Giving recommendations for the present and future

Recommendations from the consultant

© 2023 Coach Connect, Faye Weng

Benefits of coaching

 According to ICF 2009 Global Coaching Study, 80% of coaching clients said that coaching has improved their self-esteem or self-confidence. Other positive impacts of coaching can cover the areas in your life such as relationships, communication skills, interpersonal skills, work performance, work/life balance, and others.

  • Self-esteem/self-confidence 80% 80%
  • Relationships 73% 73%
  • Communication skills 72% 72%
  • Interpersonal skills 71% 71%
  • Work performance 70% 70%
  • Work/life balance 67% 67%
  • Career opportunities 62% 62%
  • Time management 57% 57%

Notes: Percentages represent. the portion of respondents awarding a positive rating on. a scale of “-3 (much worse)” to “+3 (much better).”

Regardless of what the improvements are, at the end of each coaching session, clients should walk away with the needed clarity, confidence, and a sense of accountability to make great progress with passion and purpose. As the partnership between clients and coaches develops, positive habits will be established, and clients will be able to reap measurable results much more quickly with less friction.

How does coaching work?

Coaching is done through conversations between the client and the coach, facilitated by the coach. The role of a coach is not to provide answers or solutions (let’s face it, how often do we do what we’ve been told in life smile), but to enable clients to gain awareness and clarity from within, explore options, and eventually take action with clear goals. Transparency, honesty, and confidentiality are key elements for a successful coaching partnership. As your coach, I am committed to being that trustworthy partner and making you feel comfortable while challenging you to think beyond.

Just like no two clients are the same, no two coaches are the same. While different coaches provide services in different ways and through different styles, I’ve had the most success using this simple, repeatable coaching framework which I developed and refined over the years: DEEP©. With the client being the center of the focus, DEEP© keeps our conversation focused so we can stay committed to celebrating your success both short and long-term.

D – Discover

Coaching begins by taking a fresh and honest look at who you are, how you operate, and how these known facts match up with your desired outcome in life and career. With this new set of knowledge about yourself and a heightened level of self-awareness and clarity, you will be able to stay focused with passion, while visualizing yourself in the future.

E – Execute

This phase is all about actions with measurable results. The elements that are a part of the execution phase include actions, accountability, and reflection. As you execute toward your goals, you will have the full support of your coach and we will work closely to evaluate, pivot, or change course quickly when needed, and see positive results.

E – Explore

During the exploration phase, we will explore and identify the facets of your life where you desire change and/or experience challenges. Unlearning presumptions and realizing never-before-seen opportunities are also a part of this phase. The end result is a fresh or renewed excitement about the future combined with a well-prioritized actionable plan.

P - Purpose

The goal of coaching doesn’t start and end with achieving your goals. It is also a journey of discovering what it means to live a purposeful life. With the lifelong tools and strategies, we’ll discover together through our coaching journey, you will become a self-sufficient person who can overcome future challenges while never letting go of that sense of life purpose.

© 2023 Coach Connect, Faye Weng

Finding the right coach

Having the right coach will make the world of a difference in your relationships, life decisions, finances, and business performance. However, it is a hard task, because admittedly so, the coaching industry is still loosely regulated due to the organic and fluid nature of coaching partnerships. Transparency, trustworthiness, honesty, and integrity of a coach are something you must demand in your coach, but oftentimes they are difficult to measure objectively.

With minimal training, anyone can call themselves a coach and start a coaching practice, so it is crucial to interview and compare before you make a commitment. First, make sure the coach you are considering is credentialed by the ICF. Second, depending on your goals, make sure the coach has lived through enough life and career experiences to work with you at the current stage of your life. Last, don’t ignore your instinct: you must feel comfortable forming a trusted partnership with your coach because there will come a time when you’ll have to show your vulnerability in order to move forward.

Below are a few checkpoints for selecting the right coach:

  1. Is the coach relatable, approachable, and helpful?
  2. Are you comfortable speaking or listening to the coach?
  3. Is this someone you can trust with your deep and inner thoughts?
  4. Are you able to open up and confide in the coach?
  5. What are the coach’s experience, expertise, training, and credentials?
  6. What do the coach’s previous clients have to say about their experience with the coach?

 Who can benefit from coaching

Everyone needs a coach”, said Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt.

Whether you are a student, a professional, a business owner, or an entrepreneur, as long as you are curious, motivated, and willing to roll up your sleeves to work toward your future, you will benefit from having a coach on your side as you work through the challenges, explore the possibilities, and design a plan of actions.

Albert Einstein once said, “problems can’t be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” Regardless of what life has taken you thus far if you need a different level of thinking to cut through the noises, brainstorm possibilities, and generate solutions with a new mindset, coaching is for you. Schedule a complimentary call today with me to learn more about me, and if we are a good fit for a great partnership for your future success.

About Faye Weng

Your Online Life and Career Coach

Faye Weng is an expert life and career coach who works with clients to take back control of their lives by rediscovering their passions, living/working with a clear purpose, and becoming people who can positively impact the communities around them. As your life and career coach, Faye will help you minimize noises and distractions, focus your effort and attention on the right things, execute a clear plan of action, and celebrate alongside of you when each milestone is reached. Click here to book a complimentary session.