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Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.The learner is sometimes called a coachee. Occasionally, coaching may mean an informal relationship between two people, of whom one has more experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the latter learns; but coaching differs from mentoring in focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to more general goals or overall development.

The first use of the term “coach” in connection with an instructor or trainer arose around 1830 in Oxford University slang for a tutor who “carried” a student through an exam.The word “coaching” thus identified a process used to transport people from where they are to where they want to be. The first use of the term in relation to sports came in 1861. Historically the development of coaching has been influenced by many fields of activity, including adult education, the Human Potential Movement, large-group awareness training (LGAT) groups such as “est”, leadership studies, personal development, and psychology.

Professional coaching uses a range of communication skills (such as targeted restatements, listening, questioning, clarifying etc.) to help clients shift their perspectives and thereby discover different approaches to achieve their goals.These skills can be used in almost all types of coaching. In this sense, coaching is a form of “meta-profession” that can apply to supporting clients in any human endeavor, ranging from their concerns in health, personal, professional, sport, social, family, political, spiritual dimensions, etc. There may be some overlap between certain types of coaching activities.

The concept of ADHD coaching was first introduced in 1994 by psychiatrists Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey in their book Driven to Distraction.ADHD coaching is a specialized type of life coaching that uses specific techniques designed to assist individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The goal of ADHD coaching is to mitigate the effects of executive function deficit, which is a typical impairment for people with ADHD. Coaches work with clients to help them better manage time, organize, set goals and complete projects. In addition to helping clients understand the impact ADHD has had on their lives, coaches can help clients develop “work-around” strategies to deal with specific challenges, and determine and use individual strengths. Coaches also help clients get a better grasp of what reasonable expectations are for them as individuals, since people with ADHD “brain wiring” often seem to need external mirrors for accurate self-awareness about their potential despite their impairment.

Unlike psychologists or psychotherapists, ADHD coaches do not provide any therapy or treatment: their focus is only on daily functioning and behaviour aspects of the disorder.The ultimate goal of ADHD coaching is to help clients develop an “inner coach”, a set of self-regulation and reflective planning skills to deal with daily life challenges. A 2010 study from Wayne State University evaluated the effectiveness of ADHD coaching on 110 students with ADHD. The research team concluded that the coaching “was highly effective in helping students improve executive functioning and related skills as measured by the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI).”Yet, not every ADHD person needs a coach and not everyone can benefit from using a coach.

Business coaching is a type of human resource development for business leaders. It provides positive support, feedback and advice on an individual or group basis to improve personal effectiveness in the business setting, many a time focusing on behavioural changes through psychometrics or 360-degree feedback. Business coaching is also called executive coaching,corporate coaching or leadership coaching. Coaches help their clients advance towards specific professional goals. These include career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization. An industrial organizational psychologist is one example of executive coach. Business coaching is not restricted to external experts or providers. Many organizations expect their senior leaders and middle managers to coach their team members to reach higher levels of performance, increased job satisfaction, personal growth, and career development. Research studies suggest that executive coaching has a positive impact on workplace performance.

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