I’m asked many times to ‘define coach’, tell folks what is ‘it’ that I do.  I thought I’d post a clear picture about Coaching so that my efforts to share a more complete picture wouldn’t be in vain.

From the North and Central Alabama Chapter of the International Coach Federation:

What is Coaching?

  • Coaching is designed to help people improve their learning and performance, and enhance their quality of life.  Coaching does not focus directly on relieving psychological pain or treating cognitive or emotional disorders.
  • A coach relates to the client, both internal and/or external to your organization, as a partner.  A coach does not relate to the client from a position of an expert, authority, mentor or healer.
  • Coach and client together choose the focus, format, and desired outcomes for their work.  The client does not relinquish the responsibility for creating and maintaining these nor does the coach take full responsibility for them.
  • Coaching concentrates primarily on the present and the future.
  • Coaching uses information from the client’s past to clarify where the client is today.  It does not depend on resolution of the past to move the client forward.

What is NOT Coaching?

  • Coaching is not a replacement for training.  It is rather an extension of the training and development profession.
  • Coaching is not telling the client what to do and how to do it, even though advice, opinions, or suggestions are occasionally offered in coaching.  both parties understand that the client is free to accept or decline what is offered and takes the ultimate responsibility for action.
  • Coaching is not a substitute for psychotherapy, although it can be used concurrently with psychotherapeutic work.
  • Coaching is not taking ownership of client progress, but rather supporting it.
  • Coaching does not focus on the past or on the past’s impact on the present.  It is forward thinking, moving toward goals set by the client.

What is a Coach?

  • Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients, both internal and/or external, produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives.
  • Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.
  • Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs.
  • Coaches believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful.
  • The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client has.

Well, there you have it.  Copy this if you like.  Refer to it when you need to.  Contact a coach if you believe this profession can help you.  It isn’t for everybody and it is not a panacea.  It will take work and effort on your part to create change in your life.  But if you stick with it and have a good coach, you will not believe the wonderful things that will occur in your life.

Kyle DeLoach



Musing why negative thinking is so prevalent.  What makes us put the brakes on life?  Why does it seem so natural to “think negative” about people, events, just about anything ‘out there’?

I wonder.. could it be those first voices we heard..when we were tots venturing towards something new, something attractive, and fun?  No! Don’t touch.  No.  Don’t pick that up, its nasty.  We all know the drill.  All in the name of “protecting us”.  Only it didn’t stop at the age of 2, did it?  For many it continues through high school and college in some shape or fashion.  For some, it continues throughout life.  Unless you stop it.  Now!

I wonder..if in the ‘training up of children in the way they should go” if you combined the negative ‘voice’ with ‘removing consequences’.  What then?  Scold the child for bad behavior then take away the opportunity to learn good behavior.

Got that!  Makes perfectly good sense to the control agent, doesn’t.  Done your duty to correct; gotten the desired result by doing it yourself.

To the child?  It’s craziness personified.  Not only is the negative reinforced, the ‘path to learning’ is blocked by others.  Frustration, anger, denial, deviousness…all those negatives creep into the child’s awareness and emotions.  Repeated over and over, a person can really screw himself from living his authentic life.  He’s stuck on first base wondering how he is going to get home.  He doesn’t know the way.

Unless he goes back to that place of denial.  That place of pain and feeling lost and abandoned.  That sense of self, the real self, awaits those who seek the inside passage to freedom.  Go back…love and hug yourself for what you misunderstood or had taken away from you.  When you do, you will release the fences..the walls that separate you from living in freedom.  Denial will no longer be your companion.  Truth will become your lengthening shadow.

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Timely question?  Perhaps.  Depends on what you are looking for.

Whether looking desperately for something specific or just star-gazing, we always looking…for something, or someone.  To do what?  To be what?

What we often find is the same ole, same ole.  We cannot see what is not there.  Or is there more to the story.  Are we failing to see what is there, no matter how hared we look?  Ah, that’s more like it.

The fact is, we literally ‘see’ what we program ourselves to see.  We are the determiners of what we see.  We see the world as it appears on our own personal radar scope, not as some series of random events that just occur in our life.

If you are missing something.  If you “just aren’t getting it”.  Or that others around you, similar to you in training and background, are  living the life you wish you had.  Stop.  Look.  Listen.  At yourself!  What are you experiencing?  Joy..hope..sorrow..loss..sense of failure..want..(and on and on).  Whatever it is, you are creating it.  Not the world.  The great “They” that exists outside of yourself doesn’t exist in the form you think it does.

Don’t like what you see?  Then do something else.  Put something new on your radar scope.  Look for what is missing in your life and go find it.  Create it.  Don’t wait for it to suddenly appear.  Make something happen by making that plan and putting it into action.  Step by step by step.  That’s how you really begin to see.

There can be no greater joy than when two or more come together and share their spirits.  For when you do, that which has been hidden is now revealed.  New meaning is brought forth without claim of creation or possession.  That is ultimate freedom of expression.  That is ultimate joy!  Like love, given away.

Freely, given away.

Behavior has consequences.  Whatever you do speaks volumes about you.  That’s a given.  Question is, does it matter?  That depends…on what you want and who you want to be to others.

Do you create value for yourself and share it every day?  Focused behavior to achieve an honorable and desired outcome energizes people.  It creates bridges of understanding and communication between people.  Fuzzy thinking and off-centered behavior drive others around us crazy.  We are uncertain of your intent and unsettled in our relationship with you.

This lack of focus is destructive to relationship living.  You’re blocked from knowing and getting what you want and the people around you are puzzled as to what to make of the relationship.  Personal growth and being fully alive are states of mind denied you.  Without conscious access to these very important concepts, your mental and emotional health is at risk.

Focused questions produce positive results.  If you are having difficulty creating them, hire a coach.  Helping you see and hear are tools of the trade for professional coaches.  They can become your co-creative partner in finding that which matters…YOU!

Powerful word “scarcity”.  Pictures of  famine, parched land and desperate people jar my vision.  The lack of what is normal or expected defines scarcity for us.  In the short term, we can be accurate describing what constitutes ‘scarcity’.  The term is useful and clear.

In the long run, this word is destructive to our thinking and creativeness.  It suggests that our world is fixed with a predetermined amount of ‘stuff’ we need to live and prosper.  To have a scarcity mindset and to make decisions based on it, defeats the whole purpose of living!  We live in a state of constant creativeness and change.

No matter how small and insuficient our personal resources appear or how much we accumulate and prize, it is sufficient.  Sufficiency reigns!  Much of the correct and right thinking for a properous and happy life is counterintuitive.  If you want more, give more.  If you want someone to love you, love them first.  The world always gives back what you give it.  There is no ‘scarcity’.

Perhaps they are.  Motivation is (or could be) a fleeting glimpse of an imagined desire coupled with fear or love as a causative agent.  Insight is an awareness of past thinking that suddenly appears.

Are either of these words change agents?  We think they are.  We say, “I need to get motivated NOW!”  Or, “I’ve got to get a handle on it!” .  Nice ideas; both statements are reflections of conscious thought that suggests intended action.  But that’s all they are.  Intentions!… you know, the road that we so often pave with wishes and desires.

When we make these ‘suggestions’ we mistakenly hold the belief that our thinking will necessarily create the condition for change…”I think, therefore I’m now motivated.”  Has change occurred?  No!  And it’s not going to occur if something else doesn’t happen.

Just Do It!  Nike said it best.  Start by doing… the ‘next thing’, whatever that may be.  Whatever needs doing.  Whatever you want, desire, or change…just begin.  Taking action changes things.  Taking action in ways that run counter to your normal ways of doing things will produce positive results.  Call it ‘getting out of your comfort zone’, ‘pushing the envelope’,…whatever.  Taking action creates change.

If you and I wait for inspiration or motivation to always, “prime the pump of change”, we will, most often, be pumping a dry well.  Taking action is the best way to “prime our pump”.