Dr Asheena Budhai-Manuel

Coaching, Blended Coaching, Featured, Leadership Coaching, Life Coaching

Coaching Defined – The Motive Behind the Movement – Life Coach Sydney

Two business women having a meeting at a table in an office

Coaching – It all began with a motive, i.e., a need, want, interest, or desire that propels a person in a certain direction;that became the driver of change in human beings (Weiten, 1998: 379).

In 1942, Abraham Maslow organised human needs into a hierarchy based on the assumption that certain needs must be met before higher needs can be activated, creating a type of evolution of needs.

Just as human evolved from the caveman to the CEO, so too did coaching as it rose to meet the needs of humans. 

Coaching grew into a profession to help people better themselves, climb up Maslow’s hierarchy, and essentially change and grow.  

The evolving coaching profession stemmed from a blend of philosophies and concepts from psychology, sports, philosophy, business, and spirituality.   The underlying understanding is that people are resourceful, creative and experts in their own lives. 

What is coaching?

Coaching diagram depicting the differences between Coaching, Advising, Mentoring, Consulting and Therapy.

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’  

Although, coaching is a blend of concepts from many professions, coaching is different from mentoring, consulting, advising, and therapy, in that it is underpinned by:

  • A focus on the future
  • Action-orientated learning
  • The client is the expert
  • Partnership – a coach doesn’t tell, advise, suggest or lead (ICA, 2020)

Carl Rogers one of the founders of modern psychology, cited by McLeod (2014), found that a partnership or a helping relationship is best created with:

  • genuineness (openness and self-disclosure),
  • acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and
  • empathy (being listened to and understood)

Coaching skills

Coaches undergo skills development in coaching courses and are evaluated against a range of competencies that depict the flow of an ideal coaching conversation (ICA, 2020).

  • Acknowledgement
  • Active listening
  • Accountability
  • Gratitude
  • Creating action
  • Creative structure
  • Creating trust
  • Diversity
  • Coaching tools
  • Coaching frameworks & models
  • Intent
  • Powerful questions

Remember the old Chinese proverb that went something like…

“Give a person a fish and feed them for a day, but teach that person how to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime”? 

Coaching is empowering a person to identify their want, such as food and to work on skillset and mindset so that the person can fish, hunt, gather, trap, relocate, and whatever else is desired to realise their goal.

Coaches focus on sustainable change

The coaching conversation begins with your blank canvas.

The coach, armed with coaching structure, partners with you in a journey of crests and troughs, crescendos, and silence, to create the painting that you desire. 

There is an art and science to coaching that is unique and priceless. 

In Coaching – A Short Poem…

© Dr Asheena Budhai-Manuel

There are various coaching bodies, like the International Coaching Federation, that have evolved over time to advance the coaching profession. They serve to uphold integrity and excellence and foster collaboration and respect to empower the world through coaching.

Coaching Qualifications

When you are a member of an international professional body, it serves to promote trust in the client that the coach is qualified to international gold standards, abides by the highest ethical practices, consistently improving on their coaching skills, and contributing to coaching research through thought leadership. 

Coaching can be enhanced by doing additional coaching courses like business coaching or leadership coaching to specialise for a specific sector, or to focus on self-empowerment and organisational growth and development.

Coaching can also be mixed with other professional spheres in the expertise and experiences of the coach in the form of Blended Coaching (ICA, 2020), for example, a medical doctor can add life coaching to their service offering, which is another distinctive way to add value to the client, in this case, the patient. In this way, coaching can benefit the client holistically and long-term.


  1. Weiten, W. 1998. Psychology Themes & Variations, 4th edition, Brookes/Cole Publishing, 378 – 414.
  2. International Coaching Federation (ICF) (2021)
  3. McLeod, S. A. (2014). Carl Rogers. Simply Psychology.org
  4. International Coach Academy (ICA) (2020) ICA Professional Coaching 2020 Notes
  5. Image Credit:  SimplyPsychology.org/Maslow, 1943

SupaSeed thoughts

Have you experienced the Art and Science of the coaching conversation?

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