Coaching, with a professional coach, is the practice of supporting an individual, referred to as the client or mentee or coachee, through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional result.
The structures, models and methodologies of coaching are numerous but are predominantly facilitating in style; that is the coach mainly asks questions and challenges the coachee to find answers from within himself/herself based on their values, preferences and unique perspective.
Coaching is differentiated from therapeutic and counseling disciplines since clients are in most cases considered healthy (ie not sick) and move forward from their present situation. There are a variety of approaches within the coaching methodology.
The UK's Chartered Institute of Personnel Management reports that 51% of companies (sample of 500) 'consider coaching as a key part of learning development' and 'crucial to their strategy', with 90% reporting that they 'use coaching'.
More recent research in 2011 by Qa Research, an independent marketing research agency in the UK, found that 80% of organisations surveyed had used or are now using coaching, but also found that while 90% of organisations with over 2,000 employees had used coaching in the past five years, only 68% of companies with 230–500 employees had done the same.
The basic skills of coaching are often developed in managers within organizations specifically to improve their managing and leadership abilities, rather than to apply in formal one-to-one coaching sessions. These skills can also be applied within team meetings and are then akin to the more traditional skills of group facilitation.