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External linx![edit]

The external links added are ICF which is the governing body for professioanl coaching and choice is the profession's magazine.Globalgarry 03:25, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Finding sources[edit]

Finding Sources is the number one priority for this article.

Books, Scholarly Articles, News Articles, etc. would be nice. I think this is a proper place for discussing possible sources both for sources and the sources themselves.

I will look in Google Scholar and Google Books for sources.--Keerllston 04:02, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Pretty wowish...

  • 4870 results in google books for [coaching] 787 of which full-view
  • 234,000 resulsts in google scholar for [coaching]
  • 1,250,000 results in google news (all dates)

--Keerllston 11:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

ChrisThomasUK 08:53, 22 May 2010 (UTC) There is good quality independent research around the usage and effectiveness of coaching in businesses at the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) website. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChrisThomasUK (talkcontribs)

Coaching at work magazine is a good source of information regarding coaching and was started by the cipd until a buy-out a couple of years ago saw it going independant. It is not affiliated with any one coaching body and would be a useful resource for most coaches and mentors, including business, performance and life coaches. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Raypfree (talkcontribs) 20:08, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

This article don't say anything about Timothy Gallwey, who introduced the concept of coaching into use in the 70s (the book series "Inner Game") and about Sir John Whitmore, who was the main promoter of coaching in the early '90s with his book "Coaching for performance." I have the impression that the article changes the real history of coaching.Sillabus (talk) 16:49, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

I have responded to Sillabus below, in the section Talk:Coaching § Article try to change history of coaching. Biogeographist (talk) 18:14, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Hello all. My name is Michael and I'm working on a school project for co-coaching. I was wondering if anyone knows of more sources that I could use to improve the page that I am working on that ties directly to coaching. Any information that leads me to bettering the page would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Mhick027 (talk) 19:35, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Removal of 'Project Coaching'[edit]

As of July 10, 2014, I removed the segment on 'project coaching' as it was linked into a advertisement for 'project coaching training' and does not clearly describe how coaching of projects is different from project management. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Myilluminatedlife (talkcontribs)

It is complete advertising for the purpose of induction to a link. It is better to delete all. -- User:Thomas Ptarmigan — Preceding undated comment added 13:10, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Removal of 'Victimization Coaching'[edit]

The one-sentence description of 'victimization coaching' was not clear and described how a victim of past violence might identify a 'dangerous situation' in the future. This sounds more like something that lives under therapy as it refers to a past psychological experience and the avoidance of duplicating this experience again. As such, I removed it as of July 10, 2014 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Myilluminatedlife (talkcontribs)

Addition of Citation under Definition of Coaching[edit]

In light of definite need to provide citation of reputable sources, I added definitions of coaching as outlined by Cummings and Worley in Organizational Development & Change, 9th Edition (2009) in their section on "Developing Talent". I hope this gives more credibility to the profession of coaching and to this Wiki page. I had the honor of learning and working under Dr. Worley in Pepperdine University's Masters of Science in Organizational Development program, during which our entire first course taught the fundamentals of coaching and development. Please add other reputable sources so that we can expand the understanding of what coaching is and is not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Myilluminatedlife (talkcontribs)

Major Cleanup of Coaching[edit]

I just finished major cleanup and reorganization of the article. If you see any issues with my edits please discuss them here or contact me on my talk page.Thurrigorn (talk) 12:08, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

I think Thurrigorn did a good job of cleaning up the article last month. Today RobertHappy added a subsection on relationship coaching in Coaching § Applications, which prompts me to ask how the subsections in Coaching § Applications should be ordered, since there doesn't seem to be any sense to their current organization. I propose that the subsections in Coaching § Applications be alphabetized. Any objections? Biogeographist (talk) 23:51, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Biogeographist and I think it is a good idea to order Coaching § Applications alphabetically. Otherwise, it implies some relative order of significance. Thurrigorn (talk) 12:26, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
I have alphabetized the level 3 headings in Coaching § Applications as suggested above. Biogeographist (talk) 03:52, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Article attempts to change history of coaching[edit]

This article don't say anything about Timothy Gallwey, who introduced the concept of coaching into use in the 70s (the book series "Inner Game") long before Tomas Leonard and about Sir John Whitmore, who was the main promoter of coaching in the early '90s with his book "Coaching for performance." I have the impression that the article changes the real history of coaching. I am sure, EST of Erhard has nothing to Coaching too.Sillabus (talk) 17:00, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Sillabus: I appreciate Timothy Gallwey's work, but if you are unable to point to multiple reliable books on the history of coaching that all affirm that Gallwey is THE central figure in the development of coaching, then your appreciation of him is nothing more than your personal point of view (see WP:POV). This article is not about the history of coaching, and only four sentences of the article are currently devoted to history. I agree that the content of the last two of those sentences may not be so important—especially since the source cited for one of them is nothing more than an article in the "Fashion" section of The New York Times. In fact, I will delete those two sentences now. We should arrive at well-substantiated consensus about the history of coaching here on the talk page before presuming to declare in the article that any particular individuals are central to the history of coaching. Biogeographist (talk) 18:14, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Sillabus: The "history" of coaching is very questionable concept and I agree that it is better to leave it out of the article. Besides, I also tried to substantiate your statement that Timothy Gallwey introduced the concept of coaching and couldn't find any independent reliable reference to support it. Thurrigorn (talk) 12:30, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Why is it only the ICF? The reference is also a missionary book. Oh, is the IAC cheap like a low-cost carrier? The great achievement of late Thomas Leonard should be described to maintain fairness and neutrality. About Timothy Gallwey, it is argued separately and should be described. --Sérgio Itigo (talk) 16:48, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The sentence (now deleted from the article) that mentioned Thomas J. Leonard cited as support Jane Renton's book Coaching and Mentoring: What They Are and How to Make the Most of Them (New York: Bloomberg Press, 2009). But in that book, Leonard is profiled along with a number of other coaches including Timothy Gallwey. It is just a personal point of view to single out either of these men as uniquely important to the history of coaching.
Regarding the professional coaching associations that have established training standards: certainly all of them should be mentioned if any of them are to be mentioned at all. Biogeographist (talk) 03:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. The origin of term "coaching" is not surely apparent. There had ever been a surprising description, ah, that Werner Erhard was a believer of Affirmative prayer and only tended to attach "-ing" to the buttocks of specific verbs. The clear facts are that coaching was strongly influenced by EST (Large-group awareness training), Human Potential Movement and the organization act of Thomas Leonard. About the description of Thomas, it may be good, "he established many organizations and companies of coaching". What do you think? --Sérgio Itigo (talk) 16:39, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't see any reason to mention individual coaches in this section. If you feel inspired to do so, you could create Category:Coaches and/or List of coaches with links to articles about individual coaches, and then add a link to that category and/or article in the See also section. Biogeographist (talk) 20:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
It is not necessary. Many categories of coaching only replaced buttocks of other noun phrases as a catch-all term. In other words, the term "coaching" leaps to the other noun phrases and blew up original words like bomblets. There are categories of coaching that may lead to practicing without a license, and many people are annoyed in worldwide. Thurrigorn did many corrections, and I also added some corrections a while ago. We should describe the origin of the fundamental coaching. Please approve my description plan. --Sérgio Itigo (talk) 16:33, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
What exactly is your "description plan"? Biogeographist (talk) 19:00, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I contributed it to Coaching article. --Sérgio Itigo (talk) 17:07, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Sérgio Itigo: You keep reinserting the same content into the Origins section without addressing the concerns of other editors that this content gives undue weight to certain coaches. I will continue to oppose these edits until I see more evidence of good and unbiased research based on the best and most reputable recent authoritative sources (WP:BESTSOURCES). Some examples of recent sources that I would consider reputable and authoritative (although these pertain to coaching practice rather than to the history of the field) include:
Biogeographist (talk) 17:00, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
We are discussing the origin of coaching. Our discussion has returned to opening "Why is it only the ICF?". It is most appropriate and fair for us to describe the great contribution of Thomas Leonard. And Anthony Robbins is the outstandingly famous coach in worldwide. It is rather stupid not to describe him. But I compromise about the "Financial coaching". Robbins is called a "finance instructor". He is wise. --Sérgio Itigo (talk) 16:22, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I added the International Association of Coaching. Attributing the origin of coaching to the particular coaches you mention gives them undue weight, as I explained above. The Wikipedia article on financial advisers makes it clear that the common use of the English term financial adviser is distinct from the definition of financial coach used in this article. Biogeographist (talk) 20:14, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
As the sudden and exaggerated description with no reference spoils trust of coaching, it should be deleted and replaced with a description of Thomas Leonard and Anthony Robbins. Undue weight matter is met enough. Even if a domain name of the counseling created 100 years ago, it is clarified in the origin including the names of people concerned. It should be also described the origin of coaching as far as it is publicized. As a matter of course, the authorized persons names should be described. When it is not clarified, coaching loses trust. Adversely the description of the precaution raises reliability of coaching. --Sérgio Itigo (talk) 15:39, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
What you have just written is incomprehensible. Biogeographist (talk) 16:44, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
I want to mention the diabetes coaching, but it is difficult for me. --Sérgio Itigo (talk) 17:15, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Human potential coaching[edit]

I am removing the recently added section on "human potential coaching" because the cited sources do not establish that human potential coaching is notable (see, e.g., the principle of due weight and other Wikipedia content policies). The removed section stated that the human potential coaching "approach derives primarily from the person centered approach developed by Carl Rogers"—if that is true then the topic is already primarily covered in the articles on Carl Rogers and Rogerian psychotherapy. From what I can determine in a Google search for "human potential coaching", that term appears to be a brand of life coaching, and there is already a section of the article devoted to life coaching. Biogeographist (talk) 15:54, 3 April 2016 (UTC)


There is exactly one sentence about sports in this entire article: " The first use of the term in relation to sports came in 1861."

I take the article's point that the term did not originate in sports and is not limited to sports, but in my understanding, sports is far and away the most prominent use of the term, and that ought to be recognized here. I would in fact expect the lion's share of this article to be given over to coaching in sports. I understand that there is another article on "Coach (sport)" but that seems to focus on how coaches fit into the structures of various sports, not on the techniques of coaching as such -- how to motivate people, how to get them to work together as a team, etc., which is applicable both to sports coaching and to coaching in other domains.

Is there a reason that sports has been left off of this page, or is it just a matter of someone stepping up and putting it in? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:41:4100:6DE7:1D23:75EC:FA63:15B2 (talk) 01:57, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

In response to the preceding question: There are subsections of this article (ordered alphabetically) for different kinds of coaching, and there is a subsection for sports: see Coaching § Sports coaching. Most information about sports coaching should go in Coach (sport), which is the main article on the subject. Extensive information about coaching techniques is not appropriate for Wikipedia, because Wikipedia is not an instruction manual, tutorial, guidebook, or textbook. Biogeographist (talk) 11:40, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Criticism misleading[edit]

The criticism section describes "life coaching" as "akin to psychotherapy," yet the literature on coaching is abundantly clear regarding the distinctions between psychotherapy and coaching, including the ICF's own definition of "coaching" [1].

The criticism section fails to mention the ICF requirement for logging 100 hours of coaching experience (75 paid) in addition to 125 hours of training and passing a Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA), among other requirements, to achieve the Associated Certified Coach (ACC) credential[2]; 500 hours (450 paid) in addition to 125 hours of training and passing the CKA, among other requirements, to achieve the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential[3]; and 2,500 hours (2,250 paid), in addition to 200 hours of training and passing the CKA, among other requirements, to achieve the Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential[4]. Rwberg311 (talk) 16:33, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


@Rwberg311: The section did in fact accurately report the hours required for Associate Certified Coach (ACC) in the ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). I added a sentence mentioning the stricter requirements for the ICF's Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential. (Thanks for pointing that out.) I struck a couple of phrases, "established ethical policies" (since the coaching associations certainly have these) and "the vast majority of life and wellness coaches have no formal training or certification" (since such a sweeping statement is not adequately supported by the sources). Other than that, I see nothing misleading about the section. The description of state regulation of coaches is accurate for the U.S. as far as I know. If the situation is different in other countries, please present some reliable sources and we can update the section to reflect a more worldwide view of state regulation of the profession.
There is abundant literature that opines that coaching is akin to psychotherapy; in the recent book Coach and Couch: The Psychology of Making Better Leaders (2016), Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries and colleagues wrote: "Because unconscious dynamics have a significant impact on life in organizations, organizational leaders (and followers) must recognize and plan for those dynamics, using tools and processes similar to those used with individuals in various forms of personal growth interventions or psychotherapy, but on a bigger, more systemic scale" (p. 8).
Coaches have to distinguish themselves from other helping professionals such as psychologists for legal reasons. How close coaching is to psychotherapy is a debate that seems to me to be akin to the debate over how close different psychotherapy approaches are to each other (see, for example, the Wikipedia articles: Common factors theory and Integrative psychotherapy). The opinion that coaching is akin to psychotherapy is certainly a widely expressed one among professionals; see, for example:
Biogeographist (talk) 18:09, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
@Biogeographist: A valid criticism is surely the lack of standards for the coaching "profession" that are integral to the credibility of those who call themselves "professionals." While the ICF and other organizations (IAC, for example) promote specific competencies, require documented experience, supervised coaching, and knowledge assessments, neither these "authorities" nor the individuals they certify are government regulated. This is problematic as it invites many pretenders (quacks?) to the field. The ICF is fighting this somewhat by promulgating a general body of knowledge for coaching practice (the "coaching competencies") as well as a code of ethics. In addition, the Center for Credentialing & Education, a well-established credentialing and licensing body for the helping professions, offers a "Board Certified Coach" certification[1], which is gaining in popularity likely due to the less onerous certification requirements for those who already possess advanced degrees.
At the risk of belaboring a disagreement regarding the semantics of your statement that "Critics see life coaching as akin to psychotherapy," inasmuch as the word "akin" is an adjective defined as "of similar character," the critics you cite authoritatively are asserting that life coaching is similar in character to psychotherapy. That assertion is plainly incorrect. I'm familiar with much of the literature you cite, in which many statements that contradict your own are contained. For example,
In Passmore, ed. (2016), which you cite, multiple distinctions between coaching and psychotherapy are made, viz. 1. "Coaching is forward focused," whereas "Psychotherapy…is usually sought to fix a particular problem arising from past trauma;" 2. "Coaching is coachee-led," whereas "Psychotherapists sometimes use techniques that lead and influence the patient…;" and 3. "Coaching is about improving performance" whereas psychotherapy clearly is not (p. 27).
In Popovic & Jinks (2014), which you also cite, see, for example, Chapter 2, "Coaching and therapy: Integration and differentiation," in which distinctions between the two disciplines are detailed. In fact, the very title of the work distinguishes between the two disciplines. Why would there be a need for "a model for integrating counselling and coaching," as the title suggests, if they were "akin" to each other, i.e., "similar in character?" Complementary? Perhaps. Similar in character? No.
Finally, Patrick Williams, a coauthor of another work you cite (Life and executive coaching: some ethical issues for consideration) in Law and ethics in coaching: How to solve - and avoid - difficult problems in your practice[2], provides a table that differentiates between therapy, mentoring, consulting and coaching (p. 11).
Surely many criticisms are valid, not least of which are (i) the lack of a central authority or licensure requirements in any state in the US (that I know of), and (ii) the propensity of opportunists with zero qualifications to hang out shingles and call themselves "coaches" in a professional context. This is not only wrongheaded but dangerous - especially among those fakers who partake in "therapy-like" interventions, which are anathema to what coaching is all about. In fact, emphasizing the distinction between coaching and therapy is a major part of the mission of organizations like the ICF and thought leaders like Williams, hence my passion for attempting to correct the record on this point. Coaching ("life" or otherwise) is simply not akin to psychotherapy, regardless of the claims of uninformed critics.
(For completeness, consider adding the PCC credential as an intermediate step between ACC and MCC in your description.)
Rwberg311 (talk) 14:06, 10 May 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Williams, Patrick; Anderson, Sharon K. (2006). Law and ethics in coaching: How to solve - and avoid - difficult problems in your practice. John Wiley & Sons. p. 11. ISBN 0471-71614-6. 
@Rwberg311: Thanks for your comments; I don't disagree with you about the importance of differentiating coaching from psychotherapy, but I would like to clarify that I did not add the phrase "Critics see life coaching as akin to psychotherapy"; I am merely defending the phrase. One need not be a "critic" of coaching to see how it is akin to psychotherapy. (Indeed there are critics of psychotherapy within the field of psychotherapy who would like it to have a conceptual basis more like coaching; see, e.g., Basseches, Michael (2003). "Adult development and the practice of psychotherapy". In Demick, Jack; Andreoletti, Carrie. Handbook of adult development. Plenum series in adult development and aging. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum. pp. 533–563. ISBN 0306467585. OCLC 49519013. doi:10.1007/978-1-4615-0617-1_28. ) Coaching and psychotherapy are similar in character insofar as they use overlapping sets of helping skills to work with the same psychological mechanisms, the same mechanisms common to some other professions, such as teaching.

Learning requires memory and memories are learned. Learning and memory are two facets of one major developmental mechanism. If infants were unable to learn and/or form memories, they would never develop into the children, adolescents, and adults that we are familiar with. In short, learning and memory mechanisms enable virtually all psychological development and interventions. We can therefore confidently conclude that all clinically effective empirically supported psychological interventions entail learning. A corollary point is that all evidence of altered cognition, affect, and behavior is also evidence that learning has occurred. Therapists, and the therapeutic approaches that currently divide us, differ only with regard to what is to be learned and how it is to be acquired.

— Tryon, Warren W. (January 2010). "Learning as core of psychological science and clinical practice" (PDF). The Behavior Therapist. 33 (1): 10–12. 
I could write a dissertation here defending the idea that coaching is akin to various forms of psychotherapy and counseling, citing supporting passages from all of the sources that you quoted above: for example, there are certainly forms of psychotherapy that are "forward focused" (e.g. solution focused brief therapy), "coachee-led" (e.g. client-centered therapy), and "about improving performance" (e.g. Rodney Lowman's Counseling and Psychotherapy of Work Dysfunctions). But I don't think that a hair-splitting scholastic debate on a Wikipedia talk page is the best use of our time. I have added a brief phrase mentioning the PCC credential. Biogeographist (talk) 13:55, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
I have removed from my previous comment a sentence that mistakenly attributed the phrase "Critics see life coaching as akin to psychotherapy" to another editor. Reviewing the article history, I see that the phrase resulted from a process of word-by-word evolution over the years (as often happens on Wikipedia). The phrase evolved from the considerably less defensible assertion that that life coaching is "little more than a clever way of practicing psychotherapy without the restrictions or oversight", a quotation that was attributed to psychology professor David M. Fresco (although I can't confirm the accuracy of the original quotation) in this verbose edit in 2007. Biogeographist (talk) 19:40, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Undue weight[edit]

I am reverting most of this edit (but keeping the phrases that were not redundant) because it gave undue weight or emphasis to Christian van Nieuwerburgh. We have been trying to avoid mentioning any individual coaches in the body of this article to avoid undue weight to any particular coach. We also certainly cannot call a particular coach "a leading coach in the field" (as this edit called van Nieuwerburgh) without abundant support from independent secondary sources, not the coach's own writings! Thanks, Biogeographist (talk) 19:58, 15 May 2017 (UTC)