By Angela Lindley, ACC and UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Coaching Graduate

Welcome to the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Professional Coaching Blog! We've created this resource for anyone with an interest in becoming a professional coach or honing their existing coaching skills. You'll find information here about training as a coach, but we'll also post interviews with current coaches and great resources for helping you make the transition into professional coaching. UC Davis Extension offers coaching training in our Professional Coaching for Life and Work Certificate Program - which gives students the opportunity to access UC Davis-caliber training taught by leaders in the coaching industry. Visit our website to learn more.

So, what is coaching? 

Before we go any further, we should define exactly what coaching IS, because it is often confused with other, similar professions. Simply put, coaching is a collaborative relationship between a trained coach and a client. During a "coaching conversation," the coach asks a series of powerful questions that help the client become aware of their unhelpful, limiting beliefs and move past these barriers. Coaches support their clients in achieving their goals, improving their well-being and succeeding professionally and personally. 

Another good way to describe what coaching IS is to describe what it ISN'T.

Coaching isn't therapy or counseling. These professions focus on healing past trauma and addressing psychological disorders. Coaches are forward-thinking, addressing the client's goals for the future.

Coaching isn't consulting. Consultants offer advice and expert knowledge in a certain field or discipline. Coaches are trained to help clients recognize their own pathway to success without giving advice.

Coaching isn't mentoring. Mentors offer guidance and advice based on their experience in a particular field. Coaches provide a framework for self-discovery based on the client's own personal and professional knowledge.

Coaches use skills like active listening, powerful questions and direct observation to guide clients through a process of self-discovery, where they learn more about themselves, their core values and their limiting beliefs. They help clients identify and remove the barriers that are keeping them from achieving their potential. Clients come to coaches for help solving their problems, defining their goals and setting up a plan for achieving them. Many times, coaches help their clients see possibilities they didn't know existed and achieve potential they didn't know they had. Coaching works because it's a personal, intensive process that identifies and develops the client's existing strengths and talents. 

If you've thought of becoming a coach, or if you're already a coach and want to keep your skills sharp, this blog is a great resource. Check back often for interviews with instructors, students and practicing coaches, news about the coaching industry and information about our program.  And we want to hear from you! Leave us feedback below about the kinds of content you want to read as you move through your coaching journey. Thanks for joining us!