The current coaching movement emerged in the 1990s, and is gaining momentum. The term "coaching," however, conjures up different meanings for different people, and requires definition.
When some people hear the word "coach," they think of a person who blows a whistle to tell you when to start running in place and when to stop, and makes you do 50 push-ups when you mess up. This is not what "coaching" is about, as the term is used by professional organizations specializing in this growing field.
As a Christian faith-integration coach, my job is to pose questions that help my clients hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to them, and to bring my clients to a point of clarity about specific action steps they feel they should take. I help clients shape their objectives, not the objectives I design for them.
This is much different than the role of a consultant. A consultant diagnoses problems, comes up with solutions, and tells people what to do. I don't tell my clients what to do. They tell me what they are going to do. Thankfully, my doctor is a consultant, not a coach!
A coach is not a mentor. A mentor has expertise in a particular area, and passes on that expertise to a mentee through a teacher-pupil relationship. We need mentors. However, coaching is not about teaching, imparting information, or bringing someone up to a mentor’s level. A good coach can work effectively with a politician yet know little about politics, or work with a plumber yet know diddly squat about the plumbing business. The person being coached is the expert in his or her own field.
A coach is not a counselor or a therapist. Counselors and therapists discover issues in a client's past that are blocking progress, and help them to get past these issues. As a coach, I do not provide therapy.
Coaching is a place to focus on the future. My particular coaching practice helps people to clarify goals and experience growth in the context of God's call in the workplace. Whatever kind of workplace that may be. My role is to listen, ask questions, encourage, challenge, and always be supportive.
For more, read What is Meant by Coaching?
To find a faith-integration coach, go to http://www.firstcommission.blogspot.com/